What happens if a parolee violates a condition of parole?

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If a parolee violates a condition of release, the parole board may revoke parole and order the parolee returned to prison. Before this happens, however, due process entitles a parolee to:

  • written notice of the alleged violation(s) and of the evidence against the parolee
  • a hearing, usually conducted by a hearing officer or the parole board rather than a judge, and
  • at the conclusion of the hearing, a written decision setting out the reasons for the parole revocation.

At the hearing, a parolee may present witnesses and other evidence and cross-examine adverse witnesses unless the hearing officer or parole board has good cause not to allow witnesses to appear.

Parolees facing revocation of their parole often try to cut a deal (sometimes called a “screening deal”) by which they give up the right to a hearing in exchange for receiving less prison time than would have been imposed following a complete hearing and revocation decision.

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