For a prisoner, there nothing like the anticipation of that release day. Whether you have one scheduled or the date is still up in the air, just the prospect of getting out can be enough to keep you going every day, even though getting out usually comes with some requirements. That’s right, unfortunately, you’ll never be given a clean slate from prison or jail. There will likely always be some after parole or probation that you have to adhere to.
While you are on this parole or probation you will be closely watched, as you’ll have to adhere to certain conditions. Just the slightest slip-up and there is always the possibility that you’ll be returned to jail or prisoner for the remainder of your sentence. Heck, you might even get more time added on. Whatever the situation is, this is something that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. That being said, there are several things that you need to know about being released from prison or jail. And, being absconded is one of them. That is exactly what you are going to learn about in this article.
You might think you have a good understanding of parole and everything that it entails. While you might likely understand the gist, it is likely that you don’t understand everything that there is to know about the parole process. Heck, you might not even understand the very basics of it. And, that is okay because that is exactly what this article is going to cover in this section. If you are in prison or jail, you might be let out on what is known as parole. When this happens, you are usually let out with finishing your entire sentence. For instance, you might be sentenced for 20 years, but be eligible for parole in 15. With good behavior and other assets on your side, you might be able to get parole in 10.
Whatever the situation is, when you are paroled, it means that you get to serve a part of your sentence in community supervision, away from the confines of the penal system. Parole could best be described at the early release of a convict. You are being released before your sentence is up, but it also means that you’ll still have some strict conditions and rules that you’ll have to follow for the residue of the sentence. There are a number of situations in which a prisoner can receive paroles. One would be is he or she has observed and followed all the prison rules. Another might be is the release would not attenuate the gravity of the crime. Another might be if the release would not endanger public safety.
Probation is another common term that is used in the legal system. Once again, you’ve likely heard this term thrown about and probably think you have a good understanding of what it means. And, you might, but you likely don’t know everything that you need to know about it. Probation is something that is required no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you serve the entirety of your sentence or you are let out early, you’ll have probation rules that you’ll have to adhere to. Probation is just part of a felon’s prison term from the time of then sentencing., During the probation period, you’ll have to remain under court supervision in the supervision of an officer of the court. This is an individual that is usually known and commonly referred to as your parole officer.
While under probation, you’ll have to adhere to certain rules. Rules that will be established and set forth by a sentencing judge. While these rules can vary from individual to individual and case to case, they usually all include several basic requirements. One of these requirements might be regular meetings with the parole officer, taking part in community service, desist from dealing in illegal drugs and alcohol, staying away from other felons as well as trouble location, and appearing in court as requested. Fail to meet any of these and there is a good chance that you’ll get thrown back in jail or prison with time tacked on.
All that aside, the length of the probation can vary depending on the offense and the criminal past of the individual. Obviously, if you have committed a multitude of crimes and are a common offender, you’ll be under more strident rulings. Most typical probation can last anywhere from one to three years, but once again, this all can depend on the offense coupled with the history of the offender. If the offense is drug or sex-related, the probation period can be longer than that of the traditional sentencing.
All of these terms are deemed by the sentencing judge and he or she bases her decision on the rehabilitative needs of the criminal defendant.
What About Being Absconded?
Unfortunately, absconded is not a good thing. If you are familiarizing yourself with this term it likely means that you are headed down the wrong road. To be absconded from parole or probation means that you are having your whereabouts unknown to the court. Felons who are choosing to abscond are choosing the leave the jurisdiction of the court without permission from the court or the parole or probation officer. For instance, one of the agreements of your probation or parole is likely to stay in the state or county where you are released. For instance, if you are released from a New York State prison, you might likely be required to stay in this state until your probation or parole period is up.
Choosing to leave the state of New York before your parole or probation periods have ended would mean that you are absconding. Now, there are a number of reasons that one would choose to do this. One might choose to do this for a job. One might choose to do this because they fall in love with someone out of state. Maybe one wants to be close to their family. Maybe one got in trouble again and doesn’t want to go back to jail or prison in the state of New York. Whatever the situation is, these are all reasons for absconding, even though they are all considered illegal.
A violation will be filed and felons will be apprehended. It doesn’t matter how long you have been absconded or where you’ve absconded to, your offense doesn’t go away. If and when you are apprehended, you will have to face the entirety of the original sentence.
Absconding Is Not A Good Thing
Even though you might feel like you are absconding for the right reasons, it doesn’t make it legal. For instance, if you are having trouble finding work in New York as a felon, but get a job offer in Washington, it doesn’t mean that you can just up and move if it does against your parole or probation. In a situation like this, it might be possible to work something out with the court or parole officer, but the odds are not likely in your favor. When the conditions set forth by the court are not being met after being released from prison or jail, it means that you are violating your parole. Absconding is not meeting the conditions, therefore it would be considered a violation.
When violations like this arise, it is up to the parole officer to decide how to proceed. Sometimes reprimands can include anything from a simple warning to a more threatening probation violation hearing. If the officer does indeed decide that you have violated parole then you could be looking at having additional terms added to the probation. You might even be looking at a stiff fine or more prison time. It simply won’t be good and something you’ll likely want to avoid at all costs. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it likely means that you are going to be deemed as being in the wrong somewhere along the lines, and you’ll without a doubt want proper representation. You’ll need to get in touch with good legal counsel.
When parole is revoked, a revocation hearing will be conducted at a local courthouse by a neutral judge of the two parties. During this hearing, it will be the burden of the prosecuting attorney to prove how the felon violated the conditions of his or her parole. And, he or she will have to do this by what is known as preponderance of the evidence. However, as a felon, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be completely left in the dark while this is taking place.
You’ll be allowed to attend the hearing. In fact, you’ll likely be required to attend it, but while there, you’ll also get the chance to refute any charges and state your case. In addition to this, you’ll be made privy to any of the added-on charges. As was mentioned above, when you violate parole, it can result in anything from a stiff warning to a fine, required treatment, jail time, servicing out the remainder of your prison sentence, community service, or more. It will likely come down to the judge and circumstances of the case. There are even some situations where the probation violation decision can be appealed to a higher court.
It goes without saying that being released from prison comes with a plethora of hurdles. One of the biggest being employment. To make things even worse this is usually in the terms of parole or probation. The felon is usually required to find suitable part-time or full-time work. Most felons usually don’t have stellar employment histories, which will only intensify the difficulty of the job search. This might be the very reason that the individual turned to a life of crime in the first place. Whatever the situation is, that felony on their record sure isn’t going to do them any favors, although there are plenty of employers willing to overlook such violations.
Combine this with the felon’s likelihood of no vocation and education, and you can clearly see how hard finding employment would be. There is also a lack of interviewing and oftentimes impersonal skills, which deepens the problem. It won’t take many rejections before the felon is at his or her wit’s end. There might even come a point when they give up on the search entirely. However, the pressure to make a living and provide for their family doesn’t go away. So, what do they do? They usually end up going back to the only thing that they know, crime. Now, this is not always the typical scenario, but it is more often than not.
Some felons move to different districts in the hopes of being unknown and finding proper employment, but this is still against the terms of the agreement. There might be some situations where the felon can talk to his or her parole officer and work out an agreement to work in a different district, although this is something that would likely require a guaranteed job before the move, and how does one go about getting that without interviews and job applications?
Finding The Proper Support
A felon’s biggest resource really are the people closest to him. This could be family, a significant other, or maybe a good friend. Whatever the situation is, they are going to need the assistance of someone who cares for them and is willing to be there. This is oftentimes hard as well because most felons have burned their bridges. They’ve usually cheated and lied to the people in their lives to the people where those individuals no longer trust them. This is not always the case, but more often than not it is.
Whether you are trying to help a felon or a felon yourself, there are also outreach communities and organizations that you can turn to for help. These places offer job training along with interviewing skills. This might be a necessary step in the recovery process for many. Either way, family members of felons or felons themselves can’t go wrong with services like this. At the very least, you’ll learn something that you didn’t likely know before.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.