A parole hold is an authorized detention of a person who is suspected of a parole violation. People on parole can be detained if law enforcement officers have a reasonable belief that they have violated one or more of the terms of their parole. Once taken into custody, the parolee must be notified of the reason for the hold within a set period of time before being taken to a hearing to discuss whether or not parole should be revoked. People held on suspicion of violating their parole may be denied the opportunity to pay bail.
When prisoners are released on parole, they are presented with a list of conditions they must meet. These usually include not violating the law and can also include not associating with certain people or going to certain locations. People on parole are expected to check in regularly with parole officers to demonstrate that they are complying with the terms and making progress with reintegrating into the community. A parole officer can initiate a parole hold if he or she believes that the parolee is violating the terms of the parole and a law enforcement officer can do the same.
In a parole hold, the parolee is taken to a jail or holding facility and booked in. The laws about how long someone can be held without being notified of the charges vary. In some regions, it may be 48 hours, while in others, it may be a week or more. If the parolee is not going to be charged with a parole violation, he or she must be released from the parole hold.
Bail may be denied to someone on a parole hold on the grounds that the parolee poses a danger to people or property or if there is a concern that the person may attempt to flee to evade legal penalties. Once charged with a parole violation, the parolee can be taken to a parole revocation hearing in which evidence is presented to demonstrate that the accused violated parole. The judge at the hearing can determine whether or not a return to prison is appropriate and how long the prison sentence should be.
Different laws may apply, depending on where a parolee is located and the nature of the initial crime and the parole violation. It is advisable for people on parole, along with their friends and family, to meet with a parole officer when released on parole to go over the terms of the parole and the potential consequences for violations. This will prevent unpleasant surprises and provide the parolee and supporters with information about his or her rights under the law.
How Long Can You Be Held on a Parole Hold?
While the length of time someone can be held on parole hold without being notified of the charges against them will vary from state to state, in some cases it could be longer than a week. Here is a look at the length of parole hold in some states.
Arkansas allows the courts 14 days, excluding weekends, to provide a hearing for anyone detained on suspicion of violating their parole.
California has one of the lengthiest parole holds compared to many other states. A person suspected of violating the terms of their parole may be held for up to 180 days without a hearing. This period may be even longer if their parole supervisor believes they present a danger or may flee once released.
The State of New York will hold suspected violators for up to 15 days before a preliminary hearing. Because New York jails are so crowded, the parole board does try to schedule hearings much more quickly.
In Texas, the Board of Pardons and Paroles must hold a revocation hearing within 120 days from the date the person is held. However, the board may also request a continuance for another 60 days.
How Do I Get a Hold of Someone's Parole Officer?
The name of a person's parole officer is public information in most states. In some states, the information is available through an internet search. Otherwise, you may call the parole office for the county in which the person on probation resides.
If the parolee is on parole for a federal offense (known as supervised release), they will be assigned a federal parole officer. You will need to contact the federal parole and probation office for the state in which the parolee resides in order to determine the name and contact information for the parole officer in charge of the parolee's case. Each state's federal parole and probation office is easily located through a quick search of the website for the U.S. Courts.
It is in the interest of the probation office for this information to be available to the public. If the probationer has violated the terms of their probation, or they are in danger of violating those terms, it is in the best interest of the community if the probation officer can easily be located so the officer can be made aware and investigate the current situation.
How Do You Get a Parole Hold Lifted?
A parole officer or a judge overseeing the case may lift a parole hold. This can happen in several ways.
1. The Parole Hold Expires
Though it is unlikely, it is possible that a parolee may not have their case heard within the time the laws of the state allow. If a parolee is in jail awaiting a hearing for a parole violation and the time allotted for the arresting agency to make its case against the parolee expires, then the arresting agency must release the parolee unless the laws of the state allow the agency to file for an extension.
2. The Parolee Waives the Right to a Hearing
It would not be in the best interest of a parolee to waive their right to a hearing as it could serve as an admission of guilt, but it is their right. If the parolee waives their right to a hearing, then the hold will end when a court sentences the parolee for violating the terms of the parole.
3. The Parolee Has Their Hearing
The most common way a parole hold is lifted is when the parolee has a hearing. During the hearing, the court will determine whether or not the parolee violated the terms of their parole.
If the court finds that the parolee did indeed break the conditions of their parole, then the court must decide whether or not to revoke parole and send the violator back to prison or issue a stern warning. It will decide whether or not to try the violator for new convictions associated with violating their parole and whether or not the parolee will serve new convictions concurrently or consecutively.
Every case is different and unique, as are the laws regarding parole violations in each state. The outcome for one parolee will not determine the outcome for another parolee in a similar situation. The courts and parole supervisors must take into account a variety of facts regarding the parolee and the case when determining whether or not to revoke parole.