What are some of the factors that the parole board considers for eligibility?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

A common misconception is that just because a convict is eligible for parole, he will be automatically released and paroled into the community. Equally, just because the convict has served enough of his jail term does not mean he will be released without review. Neither are accurate. The fact of the matter is that some inmates (e.g., Charles Manson) are never found suitable for parole and will serve the rest of their term inside the prison walls.

Public safety and assisting the offender in reintegrating into the community are the most important considerations in any parole decision. Is the inmate willing and ready to re-enter the community as a law-abiding citizen and contribute to a safer society? Can the inmate’s release back into society harm the general public? All relevant information is considered.

The parole board in its decision-making process will consider the following information and criteria about the inmate:

  • age,
  • mental stability,
  • marital status,
  • education or vocational training,
  • remorse for the offense,
  • time served on the current offense,
  • prior criminal history,
  • type and severity of offense,
  • behavior, habits, traits,
  • rehabilitative efforts/progress, and
  • conduct during incarceration.

Case Studies: Factors Considered by Parole Boards

Case Study 1: Inmate Rehabilitation and Community Reintegration

John Miller, a convicted felon, has served a significant portion of his jail term and is eligible for parole. The parole board carefully reviews his case to assess his willingness and readiness to reintegrate into society as a law-abiding citizen. They consider his participation in rehabilitation programs, behavioral changes, and efforts towards personal growth. Ultimately, the board determines if John’s release would pose a risk to public safety or if he has demonstrated a genuine desire for positive change.

Case Study 2: Public Safety and Risk Assessment

Sarah Thompson, convicted of a violent crime, seeks parole after serving a portion of her sentence. The parole board thoroughly evaluates her case, focusing on public safety concerns. They consider factors such as the nature of her offense, any previous criminal history, and assessments of her risk of reoffending. The board’s decision hinges on whether Sarah’s release could potentially harm the general public or if she has shown sufficient rehabilitation and remorse to warrant supervised release.

Case Study 3: Reintegration Plan and Community Support

Michael Rodriguez, a long-term inmate, prepares for his parole hearing. The parole board carefully examines his case, placing importance on his reintegration plan and community support. They review the details of his proposed residence, employment prospects, and availability of social services. Additionally, the board considers testimonials from family, friends, and professionals involved in Michael’s rehabilitation. The decision to grant parole is based on the likelihood of successful community reintegration and the availability of a supportive network.

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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