What is a Parole Hold?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 01 February 2020
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A parole hold is an authorized detention of a person who is suspected of a parole violation. People on parole can be detained if law enforcement officers have a reasonable belief that they have violated one or more of the terms of their parole. Once taken into custody, the parolee must be notified of the reason for the hold within a set period of time before being taken to a hearing to discuss whether or not parole should be revoked. People held on suspicion of violating their parole may be denied the opportunity to pay bail.

When prisoners are released on parole, they are presented with a list of conditions they must meet. These usually include not violating the law and can also include not associating with certain people or going to certain locations. People on parole are expected to check in regularly with parole officers to demonstrate that they are complying with the terms and making progress with reintegrating into the community. A parole officer can initiate a parole hold if he or she believes that the parolee is violating the terms of the parole and a law enforcement officer can do the same.


In a parole hold, the parolee is taken to a jail or holding facility and booked in. The laws about how long someone can be held without being notified of the charges vary. In some regions, it may be 48 hours, while in others, it may be a week or more. If the parolee is not going to be charged with a parole violation, he or she must be released from the parole hold.

Bail may be denied to someone on a parole hold on the grounds that the parolee poses a danger to people or property or if there is a concern that the person may attempt to flee to evade legal penalties. Once charged with a parole violation, the parolee can be taken to a parole revocation hearing in which evidence is presented to demonstrate that the accused violated parole. The judge at the hearing can determine whether or not a return to prison is appropriate and how long the prison sentence should be.

Different laws may apply, depending on where a parolee is located and the nature of the initial crime and the parole violation. It is advisable for people on parole, along with their friends and family, to meet with a parole officer when released on parole to go over the terms of the parole and the potential consequences for violations. This will prevent unpleasant surprises and provide the parolee and supporters with information about his or her rights under the law.


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Post 2
Unfortunately, I don't believe a parolee placed on a parole hold can do much about the situation after the fact. Most law enforcement officers won't take this sort of action without having enough reasonable suspicion to do it. A number of innocent people get taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving or drug possession based solely on their behavior during a traffic stop. They may lose several days' pay or have to make some embarrassing phone calls for bail money or whatever. They can't sue the city afterwards because they were inconvenienced. Maybe a person could prove a pattern of police misconduct if parole holds become too routine, but one incident would not be actionable, in my opinion.
Post 1

Could someone who is put on a parole hold and later released take any kind of legal action against the arresting agency? I'm just thinking about someone on parole who has to miss a full week's work based only on suspicion. I realize parolees have to obey a lot of rules in order to remain free, but it sounds like a parole hold is more about investigating a hunch rather than going on definite proof. Being put behind bars for 48 hours can still cause someone a lot of problems with employers, even if the hold is eventually dropped.

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