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What Is a Parole Hold?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

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.

A judge may deny bail to an individual subject to a parole hold or violation.
A judge may deny bail to an individual subject to a parole hold or violation.

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.

A violation of parole may result in the person's arrest and a subsequent court date.
A violation of parole may result in the person's arrest and a subsequent court date.

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

Arkansas allows the courts 14 days, excluding weekends, to provide a hearing for anyone detained on suspicion of violating their parole.

California

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.

New York

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.

Texas

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.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a MyLawQuestions researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a MyLawQuestions researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon1006118

In Ohio, if a parolee is put on PRC and the parolee goes seven years without seeing a parole officer for a felony 4 theft charge, does the PRC eventually lapse or end after a certain amount of time?

anon1005921

Is there a document saying a parolee can be held for a certain amount of time without a violation?

Reminiscence
Unfortunately, I don't believe a parolee placed on a parole hold can do much about the situation after the fact. Most law enforcement officers won't take this sort of action without having enough reasonable suspicion to do it. A number of innocent people get taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving or drug possession based solely on their behavior during a traffic stop. They may lose several days' pay or have to make some embarrassing phone calls for bail money or whatever. They can't sue the city afterwards because they were inconvenienced. Maybe a person could prove a pattern of police misconduct if parole holds become too routine, but one incident would not be actionable, in my opinion.
Ruggercat68

Could someone who is put on a parole hold and later released take any kind of legal action against the arresting agency? I'm just thinking about someone on parole who has to miss a full week's work based only on suspicion. I realize parolees have to obey a lot of rules in order to remain free, but it sounds like a parole hold is more about investigating a hunch rather than going on definite proof. Being put behind bars for 48 hours can still cause someone a lot of problems with employers, even if the hold is eventually dropped.

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    • A judge may deny bail to an individual subject to a parole hold or violation.
      By: diter
      A judge may deny bail to an individual subject to a parole hold or violation.
    • A violation of parole may result in the person's arrest and a subsequent court date.
      By: ivanfff
      A violation of parole may result in the person's arrest and a subsequent court date.