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Several considerations affect parole eligibility in Maryland

Last week, we discussed the differences and similarities of probation and parole. That post might have left some of our readers wanting to know more about how parole works in Maryland. There are a few basic points that might make it a little easier to understand.

It is important for people who are facing time in prison to understand that parole isn't something that is guaranteed. People who are incarcerated must complete a certain percentage of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. In addition to the requirements for time served, several other factors are considered. These factors include a home plan, rehabilitation needs, possibility of adjustment to life outside of prison, employment readiness, program needs, victim input, criminal history and prior incarcerations. The sentencing judge's notes are also considered in this process.

If you recall, last week we discussed how people on parole were incarcerated and granted an early release from prison. During their term on parole, they are required to be monitored by a parole officer. Part of that parolee monitoring process is governed by certain rules and guidelines. Parolees in Maryland who don't abide by those rules and guidelines are subject to having their parole revoked.

A person who is accused of violating the terms of parole will have a hearing to determine if he or she did break those rules. If the person did break the rules, he or she can face a revocation of his or her parole. When parole is revoked, the parolee would have to return to prison to complete the time remaining on the original sentence. With that in mind, anyone who is facing a parole violation should work to understand the case against him or her.

Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, "Frequently Asked Questions" accessed Feb. 13, 2015

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