WHAT IS PAROLE AND PROBATION?
Many people are released from Maryland prisons on parole and probation.
Parole is the early release from prison – before the prisoner has served the entire sentence. Once a person is released from prison on parole, they serve the rest of their sentence in the community under the supervision of the Division of Parole and Probation (DPP). They must also comply with a specific set of requirements, called “conditions of parole.” Violating those conditions can result in a return to prison.
Prisoners are not entitled to parole. Parole Boards consider many factors when deciding whether or not to grant parole to a person.
Probation is used by judges as a sentencing tool. One of the most common sentencing options a judge may use is to impose a period of probation on a convicted offender. Probation allows an offender to remain in the community under supervision.
Just like with parole, there are terms and conditions set when someone is given probation over prison time and violating those conditions can result in completing a sentence in prison.
There are supervisory fees imposed on people on parole and probation. The fees typically amount to $50 per month and the usual probationary period is 36 months, resulting in a total of $1800.
Other fees such as drug testing are also a part of parole and probation.
The limit for probation, however, is five years, which would add an additional $1200.
These fees represent a significant barrier to successful reentry as most ex-offenders struggle during this time to find employment and housing. With no income, this presents a barrier that often leads to a return to crime or return to prison.
We will discuss more about how to navigate this barrier in the following sections.