Meaning and definition of Parole -


           The origin of the Word Parole is from the French word 'Parole'.  Parole is the early release of a prisoner who agrees to abide by certain conditions. The term became associated during the Middle Ages with the release of prisoners who gave their word. the temporary or permanent release of a prisoner before the expiry of a sentence, on the promise of good behavior. Parole is the release of a prisoner to supervision in the community after he/she has completed a part of his/her sentence in an institution.

 The Object of the Parole - 

There are three main objects of Parole -

(1) To enable the inmate to maintain continuity with his family life and deal with family matters;

(2) To save the inmates from the evil effects of continuous prison life;

(3) To enable the inmate to retain self-confidence and active interest in life.

In India, Indian Laws provide Parole only in cases of Serious offenders who are committed to long term sentences.

 Probation officer - 


           The probation officer is an officer whose duty includes supervising persons bound by(for example) community rehabilitation orders, supervision orders or community punishment orders. Officer advises, assists and befriends this and others and enquires into the circumstances of offenders in order to assist the court to determine how best to deal with them.


 Comparison between Parole and Probation - 


Though Parole and probation are based on the principle of individualization of treatment of offenders,  they are different many points as noted below -

         (1) A conditional release of an offender under supervision is applied to an offender before custodial sentence and it is known as 'probation'. On the other hand, if it is applied to an offender who has just been released from a custodian sentence then it is known as 'parole'.

         (2) The system of probation owes its origin to John Augustus of Boston, who tried to convince the Judge to commit to his care rather than jail and has been in existence since 1841. On the other hand, the parole came into existence much later somewhere around 1900

         (3) Parole involves an initial committal of the offender to a certain period of sentence and conditional release subsequently after serving part of the sentence, whereas probation involves no sentence or imposed, it is not executed.

          (4) Parole is considered to be in custody undergoing both punishment and treatment, while probation is considered as if undergoing treatment.

           (5) Probation is a judicial function, while parole is essential quasi-judicial in nature.

           (6) Probation is the first stage of the correctional scheme, whereas the parole is the last stage of it.


           (7) There is no stigma or disqualification attached to the offender who is released on probation, but the prisoner released on parole suffers stigmatization as a convicted criminal in the society.

See... Difference between Parole and Probation


Comparison between Parole and Furlough -


What is Furlough - 

Furlough is a system of release of prisoners under which well behaved prisoners of certain categories should, as a matter of right, have a spell of freedom occasionally after they undergo a specified period of imprisonment so that they may maintain contact with their near relatives and friends and may not feel uprooted from society. The furlough period should count towards the prisoners' sentence.

(1) Furlough is a matter of right, parole is not a matter of right and may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out sufficient case for his release.


(2) Furlough is granted to the prisoner periodically irrespective of particular reason merely with a view to enabling the prisoner to retain family and social ties, whereas parole is provided if the competent authority is satisfied on valid grounds that release of a prisoner on parole is in the interest of society or the prison administration.


See...Difference between Furlough and Parole

 Authority Granting Parole (Parole Board)

          Probation implies supervision and control of probation officer over the
probationers but today this task is entrusted to the Central Welfare Boards. However, it is not so with parole, and there is the Parole Board consisting of parole administrators who are from among the respectable members of the society.

 Supervision of Parole -

         The supervision and assistance make the parole system effective and successful in implementation.  watchful control over Parolee ensures that he/she could be returned back to prison institution from which you watch out on Parole if the interest of public security so demanded.  Supervision of parolee serves two proposes, namely the parolee is deterred from repeating crime and to bring him prison if he violet parole conditions.

 Conditional release of Parole - 

The purpose of parole is not leniency towards a prisoner but to seek his rehabilitation in future life. In parole, the offender is given liberty conditioned on good behavior, moral responsibility, and the social defense. He shall be returned back to prison institution if the interest of public security so
demanded. They should readily adjust themselves to the conditions of normal society. They should show respect for law and justice. The conditional release of offenders on parole should be consistent with the State Parole Rules (for example, Andhra Pradesh Parole Rules, 1981) and the State Prison Rules (for example, Andhra Pradesh Prison Rules, 1979).


See Also...


Transfer of Criminal Cases and Appeals (Cr.P.C Section 406 to Section 408)

Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail

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