Is parole a right?

Parole is not guaranteed if you go to court and are convicted of a crime. While some may believe that parole is likely based on television shows or movies, the truth is that the constitution does not give you the right to parole. In fact, parole itself is a privilege you must earn and not one guaranteed by law.

Usually, when parole is involved in a case, there is a board of individuals who review each case and determine if and when an inmate can be up for parole. These offenders may have been able to prove that they are ready to enter back into society by their actions in prison; for instance, they may have gone through anger management courses or worked hard at jobs in the prison. Parole is a gift to those who show they are willing to work back into society as a helpful and capable person.

When you are released on parole, you do have a parole officer that you have to report to. Parole doesn’t mean you’re free; it just means you are serving the rest of your sentence outside a jail cell. You must report to your parole officer as stated; if you don’t, you could breach your contract and be put back in prison for the remainder of your sentence.

You aren’t able to apply for parole in prison. Instead, you’ll be given a date when you’re eligible for it. At that point, you may be brought before a board review to hear why you will or will not be able to be granted parole. These interviews are private, so you don’t have to worry about the public seeing your case.

Source: The Grand Island Independent, “Parole is a privilege, not a right,” accessed Jan. 14, 2016