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What are the Consequences of Breaking Parole?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated May 16, 2024
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Prisoners who have exhibited good behavior while incarcerated often get released on parole and are permitted to fulfill the remainder of their sentence outside of prison. In addition to complying with all laws, parolees must follow specific rules and guidelines. In the event that a parolee breaks the law or violates the rules of his parole, serious consequences will occur. Consequences for breaking parole differ based on the legal code of a nation or state, but some common results are apparent regardless of location.

The consequences for violating parole differ depending on what the parolee actually does. Gross violations, such as committing a crime, especially in the case of repeat offenders, most often dictate that the person will be sent back to prison. In the case of technical violations, including non-compliance with supervision conditions, such as staying employed, checking in with a parole officer, or completing community service or substance abuse programs, the parolee may not always be forced to return to prison.

In many cases, an individual may technically violate parole up to two times before returning to prison to complete the remainder of his sentence. The violation may require the person spend from 30 days to one year in prison for the first or second offense. Complete revocation of parole may not occur unless the parolee commits acts of misconduct while serving time for his parole violation. Some courts may order house arrest as an alternative.

Administrative sanctions within the community are another consequence for breaking parole. For example, a court may order community service for parole violators or add more community service for those who already are performing it. Additionally, an individual who violates his parole may be put under electronic surveillance, forced to live in a work-release center, or fined by the court. Parole violators may also be required to check in with their parole officer on a daily basis instead of monthly or bimonthly.

Another possible consequence is being required to complete a treatment program, with the type of program dependent on the original reason for incarceration and the parole violation. Substance abuse treatment programs for drugs and alcohol are the most common, but sex offenders may be required to take part in therapy and a sex offender containment program. Programs that treat anger and domestic violence are also available.

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Discussion Comments

By anon935265 — On Feb 24, 2014

What does it mean if someone is charged with battery in the first degree and is a parole violator/hold for pen? Does this mean they are getting out soon?

By anon923831 — On Dec 30, 2013

A longtime friend on parole for a RICO charges 20 counts in Georgia recently visited me out of state in Virginia, where he preyed on me -- an innocent friend trying to help him start over. He asked for loans and refused to repay them, and when he left my home he stole items totaling $600. How can I get my money and belongings back? Is this a violation of his parole?

By anon358539 — On Dec 11, 2013

My fiance did four years in prison and has been on parole for three years with no violations. In November, he got violated for hunting. He got a cpw4 charge. He has not even been to court for that. His parole board meeting is in January. He has one year and eight months left. We are hoping they don't send him back to jail.

By anon355607 — On Nov 18, 2013

I have a nephew getting out of prison soon, but he has to wear an ankle bracelet. He was in for dealing drugs.

My question is, is order for him to get out in time for the holidays, he has to stay with someone who has a landline phone. I have no problem with that. But so far, the plans are for him to stay with my sister and her husband. He just got out of doing time in a halfway house for weapons charges. Also, both my sister and brother-in-law drink heavily.

My sister has admitted to the family that this nephew who is trying to stay with them on house arrest, did get her and her husband on meth (before he was busted). They no longer use though. It bothers me that the nephew just might be living in a house where they all used to use. Can this happen?

By anon355242 — On Nov 14, 2013

My boyfriend did six months in the Cook County boot camp. He was released in September and was on house arrest for 28 days. He got off house arrest in mid October and his probation officer put him and the other inmates he was with in boot camp back on house arrest.

He was able to have movement, but every time he asked, the probation officer treated him badly and told him no. Well yesterday, they came to his mom's house at 1 a.m. and took him back to boot camp because they said he violated his probation.

How many days does he have to do and is it right that they took him off and put him back on house arrest?

By anon351091 — On Oct 10, 2013

My husband had two years probation for the sale of a controlled substance. He's only served seven months of that. Now he's facing new charges for one count of less than a gram sale of a controlled substance. Will he get credit for the time and how much time will he be facing all together?

By anon347531 — On Sep 08, 2013

My son's father was picked up on a parole violation due to an anonymous email. He has worked for the past two years, has only had one dirty urine and has been attending his outpatient program for two months now. Otherwise, he was up for phase II and was labeled the "model parolee." All of a sudden, he moved to a different county and the parole officer appears to have it out for him. Would they place him back in prison for an anonymous email?

By amypollick — On Jun 20, 2013

@anon339029: It all depends on the judge, the offense that violated the parole, and the individual laws where you live. The judge can order a parolee to serve the rest of his/her original sentence, if parole is violated, but it depends on the judge how soon someone can come up for parole again. It may be that the person must serve an additional number of years on the original sentence before being eligible for parole. It's just up to the judge and the law.

By anon339029 — On Jun 19, 2013

All I want to know is if someone violates parole for committing another crime if they're returned to prison for that violation, do they automatically have to finish their original sentence or can they be granted another parole in a year or two?

By anon323801 — On Mar 06, 2013

My boyfriend was put in jail for having four dirty drug tests. He's on parole and served five years in a federal penitentiary. He has two more years on parole left.

Before going to jail he has had a job for a year and started school at a university. I wanted to know what do you think they will do to him? Will they send him back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence?

By sugarcup — On Jan 14, 2013

My boyfriend was on the run from parole for not going to a center when I had met him. I didn't find out until after he started staying with me. He was apprehended from my home and is soon able to do a home plan. He has no new chargers since his original charge seven years ago. How likely will it be for him to be able to home plan here?

By anon303668 — On Nov 15, 2012

My fiance had parole, but he took the monitor so he was on the run, but thank God he didn't get a new charge. He took the monitor in March and they caught him (barely) in November. So, what are the fines on him? Is he going to have to do extra time, or just until February, when he supposed to finish parole or his time. I need help please.

By anon280286 — On Jul 16, 2012

If a parolee commits a serious crime while out on parole, what happens next?

By anon280279 — On Jul 16, 2012

My fiance is has violated his parole order for the first time with an OVI. He will have completed an in-patient rehab treatment this week, and will have court on Thursday for his violation. We live in Ohio and I am curious about what are the chances of him not serving jail time? His parole officer recommended for him just to finish this program. I am pregnant and due in two weeks and I would do anything in the world to have him home.

By anon278308 — On Jul 05, 2012

My fiance was recently taken back to custody of the D & E center in Lincoln, NE for parole violations. His violations were not paying the monitor/ankle bracelet fees, not going to required weekly AA meeting, one dirty urine analysis, and not setting up outpatient treatment. He says that the correction facility in Lincoln is overcrowded (no state of emergency declared yet by Governor), and other parolees who violated their parole with more or worse violations are getting re-paroled once they have their revocation hearings. So what do you all think or know?

Please help ease my mind to know whether or not he may be able to be re-paroled.

By sunshined — On Jul 27, 2011

It is sad to say, but many people who are repeat offenders know just how the system works and know what they can and can't get by with before going back to jail again.

It doesn't seem like any treatment program or taking away of privileges makes any difference in their behavior when they are out of jail. Many times if they go back to what they are familiar with, they are associating with the same friends that got them in jail in the first place.

Most times, it takes a complete change in environment and friendships for their lives to stay on the right track.

By SarahSon — On Jul 26, 2011

One of my good friends works on our county parole board, and her job is to determine whether or not people are ready to be put on parole.

She works mostly with young people, and this can be a rewarding and heart breaking job all at the same time. There are many times when you know that someone is ready for that responsibility and have gone through all the proper treatment they need to get to that point.

Other times, you really think someone is ready, but for reasons you can't predict, are right back where they were after a few months.

Even though they are aware of the consequences of breaking parole, they still take that risk and engage in destructive behavior.

By cloudel — On Jul 26, 2011

I had a creepy neighbor who went to jail for kidnapping. He would see a child near his home and take him as a slave for a day. Then, he would let him go. As far as I know, he didn’t do anything sexual to them. He just wanted someone to do whatever he told them. It was a power trip.

Some parents pressed charges, and he received only 6 months in jail. After that, they let him out on parole because they didn’t consider him much of a menace to society.

They caught him trying to lure children in his home again after two months and placed him on house arrest. So, he would stand on his porch and try to coax kids over from there as they walked past his house. I guess some people never will be rehabilitated.

By seag47 — On Jul 25, 2011

When I was a teenager growing up in Cleveland, a serial rapist was on the loose. Every girl in the neighborhood lived in fear until they caught him. He had raped five women.

Though they had him behind bars, the legal system has so many loopholes that he got out on parole after four years. Those who had lived there during his reign of terror feared for their safety again.

After he had been out on parole for five months, he raped again. They revoked his parole, and he will be serving several more years in prison.

By kylee07drg — On Jul 24, 2011

Kleptomania sent my cousin to prison. He could not resist the urge to steal things, even though he needed nothing. Mostly, he shoplifted, but then he progressed to taking things from people’s yards, like grills and lawnmowers.

He got some help from a program while in prison. They decided to release him on parole. While he was out, some neighbors saw him suspiciously eyeing some items in their yard, and they called the cops. By the time the police got there, he had his hands on a nice grill.

He had not yet started to roll it out of the yard, but suspicious behavior was enough for them to place him on house arrest for three months. They also forced him to join a support group for kleptomaniacs.

By lighth0se33 — On Jul 24, 2011

My only knowledge of parole came about when my ex-boyfriend received it. He had gone to prison on charges of manufacturing and selling crystal meth. He had served 6 months in a boot camp style prison, and then they decided to release him.

He had to check in with his parole officer once a month. His parole requirements involved avoiding being around drugs and alcohol. He violated parole when cops pulled him over with an open container of alcohol in his truck.

They sent him to a mandatory rehab facility. That’s what he called it, anyway. For all I know, it was just another word for prison.

By wander — On Jul 23, 2011

For those who are caught breaking their parole how much time do you think that should have to serve under house arrest? Do you think that they should have to do more work to make amends for their parole violation?

I really believe that there has to be strong rules in place that apply across the board with parole violations. Too many people seem to think that parole is a free ticket back into society and they can do whatever they want just because they are no longer confined behind bars.

Consequences for breaking parole should be more unpleasant that just house arrest, such as forced additional community service doing the most uncomfortable and tedious things possible. Cleaning up trash in the city, picking up dog poo at the park and painting over graffiti all come to mind.

By manykitties2 — On Jul 22, 2011

It seems to me that the reason so many people are put on parole is that our prison systems just can't handle the number of criminals they get. In many cases parole is a good fit for those with less serious offenses under their belts, such as petty theft and drunk and disorderly behavior.

In the case of breaking parole I think these people should be forced to not only stay in home, but work for the government. I think we always need more people to shuffle papers and stuff envelopes. Why not put those people under house arrest to work?

I think that if a person has cost the tax payers money with their misconduct that they should have to pay off their debts to society in a literal way.

By mutsy — On Jul 22, 2011

@Comfyshoes - I know that prisons are overcrowded, but when I see people with repeated DUI’s get probation it really makes me think that these people would be better off in jail so that they can treat their alcohol abuse problems which led to the DUI.

The same thing happens when people with drug offenses are sent to rehab. I do think that rehab is helpful, but I imagine that spending time in jail forces them to give up the drug because they no longer have access to it.

They also learn how to cope which might serve them better than going to rehab because they can always quit rehab or binge once they get out. I think that once they spend a significant time in jail then they could get probation and it should be for at least ten years so that authorities could make sure that they don’t go back to their old ways.

They should also be forced to attend weekly drug or alcolohics anonymous meetings so that they stay out of trouble. I think in many of these severe cases, jail can actually save an addict’s life.

By comfyshoes — On Jul 22, 2011

@Icecream17 - I think that they probably gave ten years probation in addition to the prison term because the county may have been short staffed and felt that they had too many prisoners to keep him on a lifetime probationary status.

I know that some states have very strict laws with respect to sex offenses. In fact, Florida was one of the first states to pass Jessica’s Law which results in a 25 year prison term for any sex offender that is convicted of a sexual offense on a child.

So the laws are getting stricter which is a good thing because we do have to protect our children.

By icecream17 — On Jul 21, 2011

@Glasshouse -I just wanted to say that you are right. I have a neighbor that to my dismay was convicted of sexual assault on a 16 year old minor. He served his prison sentence and then was given ten years probation.

We found out about him because one neighbor found out and looked up his information in the county records online and told us about it. I verified the information and there he was.

I personally think that people that commit sexual offenses like this especially on a minor should not get probation because many experts have said that people like this cannot be rehabilitated.

At the very least, I think that the probationary terms should have been expanded to include lifetime probation because the recidivism rate for these types of criminals is among the highest of all criminal offenses.

By Glasshouse — On Jul 21, 2011

@valleyfiah- Short and sweet, probation is ordered by a judge, parole is ordered by a parole board, and made possible during sentencing. When someone is convicted of a crime, he or she may be given probation in lieu of or in addition to a prison sentence. If the convicted person completes their probation without any violations, they have served their debt to society.

Parole on the other hand is delegated by a parole board, but is only made possible by sentencing. Sometimes the courts may hand down the sentence without the possibility of parole. The parole board decides if the inmate in question is suitable for community supervision.

Both probation and parole can share very similar conditions. Those on parole or probation may be required to check in with their probation and parole officer on a regular basis, submit to drug screenings, or attend counseling. I hope this answers some of your questions.

By ValleyFiah — On Jul 20, 2011

I know this is not a probation and parole forum, but I have a question. What is the difference between probation and parole? It seems like probation and parole are the exact same things. Can someone break down the basic differences between the two please?

By GiraffeEars — On Jul 19, 2011

@fiorite- I am no expert on parole by any means, but my uncle was paroled after serving part of his sentence. I do not think that he had to wear an electronic monitoring device because he was not on house arrest, but I think that they can put a device on you if you have a minor violation. In this case, they may confine you to your home except to work.

When he was on parole, finding a job was of utmost importance. It seemed like he was always looking for a job. I believe it was because he was required to work, actively seek work, or pursue job training or education. He also had to check in with his parole officer on a regular basis.

I am not sure what would have happened to him if he did not find a job or gave up on the search, but I do not think they would send him back. I doubt that parole was easy for my uncle, but he was able to successfully complete his parole without any violations. In the end, the hard work made him more of a humble and hardworking person.

By Fiorite — On Jul 19, 2011

Do you have to wear an electronic monitoring device while on parole? I have always been curious as to what the requirements are for being on parole. The article stated that people are released on parole for good behavior. Is there a minimum amount of time that a person must serve before the prison system releases him or her on parole?

What happens when a person is released on parole? Do they have to work while they are on parole? Will not being able to find a job send a person back to prison? Being on parole almost seems like it is worse than serving the maximum sentence in prison because any little mess-up can land that person back in jail.

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