When a person’s whereabouts are unknown they are termed absconding. Once an inmate completes their sentence, they look forward to going back to their normal life and look for complete freedom.
For some time, however, after the release, he will be closely watched. Till the time they are on parole, they must adhere to certain terms and conditions, failing which there will be consequences which may include a return to custody.
Let us understand in detail what the term “Parole” means and what happens when a felon absconds from parole.
What Is Parole?
In simple words, parole is a privilege offered to the inmates as an alternative to their term inside the prison.
Here, the offenders are not confined within the walls of the jail however they are constantly watched by the officials. During probation or parole, the judge specifies restrictions that have to be followed by the convicts.
While these restrictions may seem simple, felons should stand by them. Parole is the conditional release of a convict before their specified term:
- Before the end of a prison sentence
- On the condition, they follow certain rules and regulations for the remaining part of their sentence
A convict is granted parole when:
- He/she follows the rules of the prison during their stay
- The intensity or the seriousness of the crime would not be lessened upon release
- Their release would not pose threats to the community
Typically, parole or probation conditions include:
1 Regular reports to on-duty officers
2 Payment of fines
3 Restrictions on drug and alcohol usage
4 No contact with criminals
5 Clearing random alcohol and drug tests
6 Psychological counseling
7 Ban on possession of weapons
8 Satisfactory completion of court-assigned community service
9 Restriction on relationships and personal acquaintances
10 Routine appearances to court.
Who Is Responsible During The Probation And Parole?
A convicted felon on parole or probation should maintain a cordial relationship with the parole or probation officer.
In some places, their functions are separated into divisions –the Probation Department and the Parole Department. At some places however both the departments are treated as one.
Now let us understand what happens when the prisoner doesn’t follow the rules of the Parole or probation and chooses to abscond.
Eligibility For Parole
All inmates do not get the option for parole. Inmates convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and other violent crimes are not eligible for release on parole or probation.
Though good behavior during their stay in jail may result in an early release, an inmate is not always granted parole solely because of “good behavior”.
Some of the factors which may be important in determining the eligibility for a release in parole are
1 Convict’s age
2 Criminal history
3 The severity of the crime
4 Marital status
5 Parental status
6 Mental condition
7 Length of incarceration
8 Intention for earning a livelihood through proper means.
After due consideration and conviction that an inmate’s release won’t pose safety threats to the general public, parole could also be granted. The released inmate must also show a willingness to stick to the laid down conditions of his/her parole and reintegrate with the community.
What Does Abscond Mean?
During parole or probation, the felon is required to report to the on-duty officers or court regularly. When the person doesn’t do that and his/her whereabouts are unknown, the person is absconding.
Convicts who abscond have left the jurisdiction of the court without consent from the court or the on-duty parole or probation officer. They are said to be violating their parole or probation. A felon absconding from parole is someone who drops out of contact with the on-duty officer and whose whereabouts become unknown.
A felon absconding from parole will be picked up by the police if he is caught for some other offense, like a robbery case or any case for that matter.
In that case, their parole is likely to be revoked by the court and he/she will probably return to prison.
Consequences Of Absconding
Whether a felon intentionally or accidentally absconds during his parole or probation, he or she may face legal consequences. These usually are in the form of penalties, charges for absconding, and a brand new case that might hold beyond regular time.
It can also include fines against the felon for the act of absconding. There are certain rules with cases that require the person to stay within the city and not come out during the trial.
During the time of parole or probation, if he or she could choose to abscond, they may incur additional penalties that would take him or her to jail or prison.
In such a situation the parole or probation officer files a violation report and apprehends the convicts. Once apprehended, the convicts will have to face the completion of the sentence.
Complications That May Arise In The Future Due To Absconding
If a felon absconds from parole or probation, any future involvement could lead to a restriction of movement or suffering remand at the county jail.
This is often important if the person absconded willfully or attempted to escape parole or probation. Irrespective of the decision, the person could face future complications that are identical to the actions of willful absconding.
If the person requests parole or on-duty officer for early release for his /her good behavior during the stay, and he or she may engage in willful absconding. As a consequence, when the officer reports the incident the felons return to prison immediately.
The main concern in these kinds of situations is real and willful absconding. When the person accidentally goes absconding during probation or parole, he or she could increase restrictions for the duration of the proceedings.
He or she might however not suffer future consequences when he or she lacks the intention to cause problems for the court during the trial.
In certain situations, the authorities might have to define if the person’s actions constitute absconding. It’s only then that the individual may face penalties for accomplishing this feat.
What Causes Felons To Abscond?
Though it is a serious crime, many convicts happen to abscond. Below are some of the reasons why convicts abscond:
- Lack of acceptance in society
- Lack of education, jobs
- Mental pressure
- Harassment by family members
- Stress can induce them to do more crimes
- Hope to start fresh by becoming untraceable
Though it is tough for society to accept felons on parole, absconding is not such a smart move. Given the consequences, felons face easier hurdles during their parole. This the reason it is important to stay in the good books of the law. Any inconsistency in the record will result in the cancellation of parole or probation chances in the future.
Building your life after a felony may seem difficult however there are ways to do things. Abiding by the law is one such method. Felons do get frustrated when society treats them wrongly. In such scenarios, it is best to take up a job or a hobby to distract the mind.
Irrespective of the situation, a felon cannot get into an altercation and ruin the chances of being free. Make the right choice today and grab the second chance. As mentioned above, this is not for all.
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