When a person is released from prison on parole, he or she will need to follow certain rules, known as parole conditions, to stay in the community. Some of them are standard and apply to parolees generally. Other conditions are special conditions that are imposed by the parole officer assigned to the former inmate's case.
Under the parole system, an inmate may be released from custody before the sentence has been completely served. This arrangement can also be used after the inmate has fully served his or her sentence. It allows the individual to be released back into society under the supervision of the parole board.
The parolee is required to meet certain conditions or face having his or her parole revoked. If this occurs, he or she will be subject to arrest by law enforcement personnel and will be sent back to prison. The rights of the parolee to re-enter society are balanced with the community's right to safety.
In the United States, state parole boards are responsible for setting standard parole conditions. Under Canadian law, an offender is eligible for release from prison after serving two-thirds of his or her sentence under the statutory release system. Some inmates are released under a day parole system, which allows them to work in the community. A condition of this type of arrangement is that the offender must return to the institution or a halfway house at night.
Standard parole conditions may include provisions directing the offender to report to a parole officer promptly after being released and attend follow-up meetings regularly. The parolee will need to find a job and be gainfully employed. The conditions may direct that the former inmate live in a particular area.
Other parole conditions will include directives that the parolee is banned from owning or possessing firearms. Using drugs or alcohol will also be prohibited, and the individual will likely be told not to go to bars or other businesses that serve alcohol. A parolee is expected to be a law-abiding citizen, and he or she will be required to report being arrested to his or her parole officer right away.
Special parole conditions apply to offenders who have been convicted of sexually-based offenses. A sex offender will be required to register with authorities immediately upon his or her release. This person will also be restricted to living only with adults, since the offender will not be able to be around children under 18 years of age.