What is parole, and how does it work in Maryland?

Parole is an interesting option for some people who find themselves imprisoned. Like everywhere in the United States, parole can be offered to prisoners in Maryland after they serve a certain amount of time on their sentence. Not all people can get parole, so if you’re confused about your situation, you may want to speak with an attorney to find out if you can be released on parole or not.

With parole, you’re released on the condition that you do not re-offend. There are two kinds of parole you could find yourself offered. The first is discretionary, which is when a parole board decides to release you based on a determination made that you are eligible. This may be based on your behavior in prison or other factors.

With mandatory parole, the second kind of parole, parole is built into the sentence. For example, if you are sentenced to 10 years in prison and two years on parole, the last two years of your sentence will not be spent in prison but instead on a supervised release.

When you’re released on parole, you need to make sure to follow all the directions given by the court. Some conditions may be that you can’t leave the jurisdiction, that you can’t drink or take drugs, or that you commit no more offenses of the kind that your sentence was based on. Because parole is seen as a privilege, it can be taken away, and you could be placed back in prison if you violate the law. Your attorney can help you if you do misstep, though, because there may be other methods of handling technical violations of parole.

Source: Justice Policy, “The Release Valve: Parole in Maryland,” accessed Nov. 11, 2015