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Parole is the conditional release of prisoners before they complete their sentence. Paroled prisoners are supervised by a public official, usually called a parole officer. If paroled prisoners violate the conditions of their release, they may be returned to prison. For example, paroled prisoners often must get and keep a job, avoid drugs and alcohol, avoid their victims, not commit any crimes, and report regularly to their parole officer. If a paroled prisoner violated his parole by violently assaulting someone, he would probably be returned to prison. If he ran a stop sign, he probably would not be.

Prisoners do not have a right to parole. Typically, prisoners are reviewed by a parole board, which determines whether to parole them and what conditions to place on their release. Rules regarding parole vary by jurisdiction. See, e.g., the United States Parole Commission website.

See Criminal Procedure