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Parole and Probation
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Report Parole Violation

When a convicted criminal gets parole after serving a portion of the original sentence, he or she is not yet completely "free." Parole comes with certain rules the parolee needs to follow, such as not traveling too far from home and staying away from other known criminals. If you know someone who is not following the rules, you can report the parole violation.

How to Report a Parole Violation

Parole violation is technically a crime, so the easiest way to report it is to file a police report in the city where the violation happened. Be prepared to supply as much information as possible, such as:

  • The nature of the violation
  • Where exactly the violation occurred
  • The time of the violation
  • Contact information for any other witnesses
  • Your own name and contact information (It is unlikely you will be able to make an anonymous report.)

If the violation involved committing a new crime, then you might want to take it to the police. Even for a technical violation, such as traveling outside a restricted area, you can go to the police, who can inform the person's parole officer.

For technical violations, you can also contact the parole officer directly, if you know who it is. You might be able to make this report anonymously, but not necessarily. You may be asked to testify at a hearing or trial.

You may be reluctant to report a parole violation, especially if the person is a loved one, but it is the right thing to do. If the parolee is returning to criminal activities, not reporting a violation could put others at risk.

What Happens After You Report Parole Violation

Consequences depend partly on the violation. If the parolee has committed a new crime, he or she will be arrested on those charges. In many jurisdictions, parole is revoked automatically after new criminal charges are filed, and the parolee will have to return to prison to complete the original sentence.

For a technical violation, the Parole Commission holds a hearing to determine guilt and whether parole should be revoked. Sometimes the commission may hold an initial hearing to decide if the parolee needs to be in custody pending the revocation hearing or can continue under supervision. If the parolee fails to appear at any hearing to which he or she was summoned, this is grounds to immediately revoke parole.

Parole violations are a serious matter, and if you are unsure what to do, it is a good idea to speak with a criminal defense attorney.