Definition - What does Parole mean?
Parole is the early release from jail or prison. Whether or not someone convicted of a crime is eligible for this early release depends on the type of offense that they committed and the severity of the punishment imposed.
In order to secure parole, a convict must generally have a clean record while they are incarcerated, and demonstrate that they have changed in a meaningful way. Their freedom is usually contingent on certain terms and conditions; violations can result in the revocation of parole.
Justipedia explains Parole
The implementation of parole in criminal cases has prompted considerable debate over the years.
Proponents say that parole is cost-effective; that it helps the parolee adjust to their freedom; and that it allows them to become a productive citizen. Furthermore, proponents say that the mandates placed on parolees with regard to supervision help minimize any risk to the general public.
Critics argue that those found guilty of criminal acts—especially serious or violent offenses—should serve their entire sentence. As a result, many states now stipulate that convicts serve 85% of their sentence before being considered for early release based on varying criteria . Parole is no longer an option for some state prisoners and those in federal prisons.