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Difference between Probation and Parole

Probation and parole are two alternatives to the incarceration that allow the convict to stay in the society under the supervision following certain rules and guidelines. Both the terms are related to criminals and offenders. Let us see the difference between probation and parole!

Probation:

In probation, instead of sending the accused straight to prison or jail, the judge gives them an opportunity to show that they want to rehabilitate themselves. Thus, probation can be defined as the release of the offender from police custody subject to the good behaviour of the convict under specific conditions. It is like a supervision period in which the accused has to follow certain rules prescribed by the court and remains under the supervision of the probation officer. So, when the accused is granted probation, he or she is not sent to jail and allowed to stay in the society provided that he adopts ethical conduct, not commit any crime, remains under the supervision the probation officer, etc.

Parole:

Parole can be defined as the temporarily or permanent release of a person from the jail subject to the conditions of the parole board such as the accused has to adopt ethical conduct, not commit any crime or harm the society, appear before the parole officer if required, do not leave the specified geographical area without the permission of the officer, and so on. Thus, it is a supervised release of the convict from a jail sentence only when he has served a part of the original jail term in jail.

During parole, the convicts are supposed to serve the community, rehabilitate themselves, and abide by the rules, or else they will be sent back to jail on grounds of the original sentence. Thus, parole releases an offender into the community before his original Jail term is up. For example, a person who gets 3 years in jail can be released after 2 years on parole.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between probation and parole are as follows:

Probation Parole
It allows the convict to stay in the community instead of serving jail term as long as the conditions of the probation are being met. It is the temporary or permanent release of the convict from the jail after he or she has served a part of the jail term in jail.
It is granted by the judge. The court decides the probation of the convict. It is granted by the parole board. The parole board decides the parole of the convict.
It is an alternative to jail. It is conditional release from the jail.
It is granted prior to the incarceration, it is a pre-conviction process. It is granted after the convict has served a part of his prison sentence, It is a post-conviction process.
It is granted to first time offenders and crimes that do not involve violence. It is granted to convicts that are already serving the jail term.
The convict reports to a probation officer and remains under his supervision. The convict reports to a parole officer and remains under his supervision.
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