California Parole Laws, Process & System
Parole is an important part of any legal process that results in prison time. Individuals often have to meet a number of parameters beginning on their first week in prison. As a result, these individuals need to become familiar with parole laws in order to secure the shortest prison sentence possible.
The parole process in California is the process by which an individual shows to a court that they have given back to society and are rehabilitated enough to be released from their sentence early. This process begins with the criminal justice process. An individual is arrested for a crime and has to go through the bail process. They pay bail or secure a bond from a bail bondsman in most instances to secure pretrial release from prison.
Then, the individual goes through the trial process and is convicted and sentenced to significant time in jail or prison. Once they begin serving their sentence, a number of factors are at play. There is the minimum eligible parole date and the potential for earning a good time credit. This good time credit help to reduce the amount of time that an individual will have to spend in California state prison. There is also the parole board. Sentences have guidelines that govern whether or not an individual is eligible for parole and when.
A parole board then meets for a parole hearing at the minimum eligible parole date to determine the eligibility that an individual has to be released on parole. If an individual is granted release from prison by a parole board s decision, they are often given conditions of parole that they have to follow. In many instances, individuals are forced to regularly check in with a parole agent and either have a job or be sincerely looking for employment at all times as conditions of Parole. Individuals also cannot commit the smallest infraction or they may be returned to California state prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence.
Deciding Factors In Granting Parole
Prisoner behavior is one of the most important deciding factors in granting parole at a parole hearing. Parole boards consider how an individual has helped the world and their fellow prisoners. Prisoners may receive merits for particularly brave or helpful actions that they take while in prison and awaiting parole. A parole agent or parole board may also consider the nature of an individual’s initial crime. Some crimes have disturbing elements or mitigating factors that may sway a parole board s decision and cause them to keep an individual in jail. Finally, a parole board may study the use that a prisoner has to greater society. They may be able to show whether or not that individual can quickly obtain a job and give back to society.
What to do
Anyone who is convicted of a crime and sent to prison needs to become a model prisoner as quickly as possible. They should get a prison job and find whatever volunteer opportunities are available. Prisoners should take classes and gain an education as well. They should spend much of their time trying to avoid people and situations that may result in disciplinary actions. Disciplinary action can greatly reduce the chances of a prisoner securing the shortest term possible. In addition, prisoners need to study and read up on every aspect of California parole law that they can. While they will of course be aided by an attorney, it is always helpful for individuals to understand and navigate the law on a basic level themselves.
California parole laws are some of the most expansive in the nation. The state wants to reduce prison sentences in order to retain as much prison space as possible. But these laws cannot help an individual who does not meet deadlines and talk to the right individuals. Prisoners have to take proactive steps to ensure that they are taking advantage of the many parole opportunities that California provides them.