Common Parole Violations That Might Send You Back to Prison


Parole is described as a form of conditional release for former convicts. Rather than finishing their sentence in prison, they can serve the rest of it beyond prison walls with various rules and requirements.

What these rules and requirements are can depend on the crime they committed. However, if they were to breach the conditions of their parole, they risk being sent back to prison. Tens of thousands of people have their parole revoked for violations. The violation types can vary, but the following are among the most common:

Failure to Report

You likely know there’s a difference between parole and probation, with probation often granted to people instead of jail time. While different, one thing they have in common is the need to report to a probation or parole officer. Failure to do so can be a violation.

If you fail to report, you may be required to return to prison or jail unless you have a good excuse. Emergencies, deaths of loved ones, and motor vehicle accidents are a few of the many excuses that may be acceptable.

A Positive Drug or Alcohol Test

Not using drugs or alcohol is a standard restriction you must agree to when released from prison. Parole officers may require you to undertake testing to confirm that you’ve remained sober.

If you’ve tested positive, this can be a parole violation. While you may be required to return to prison, some officers can use their discretion to give parolees a second chance. In part, this is to reduce prison populations.

Not Complying with Curfew

Many parolees must agree to a curfew where they must be at their home residence. In most situations, this period is from early in the evening until early in the morning. However, exceptions can sometimes be granted for work and education.

Failure to comply with curfew rules or not having an exception in place may result in a parole violation and a subsequent parole revocation hearing.

Not Completing Court-Ordered Programs

Court-ordered programs like anger management and substance abuse treatment are often standard requirements for parole. Law officials want their parolees to work hard to remain on the right side of the law.

However, not everyone will attend these programs as required. If you don’t have a good reason, you may need to go back to prison.

Committing New Crimes

Most inmates must meet specific criteria to be eligible for parole. However, parole eligibility doesn’t mean parolees will maintain their law-abiding ways.

Recidivism is a common problem, with 62% of prisoners released from prison in 2012 arrested within three years. Seven in 10 were arrested within five years. Committing new crimes is undoubtedly a severe parole violation that sees parolees put back behind bars. Even something as minor as a speed camera fine can sometimes be enough for a parole officer to consider revoking parole.

You may not be sent back to prison for every parole violation, but it’s certainly a risk. It’s in your best interests to read through your parole rules and requirements thoroughly to avoid making serious mistakes that could result in your parole being revoked.


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