Answer: yes, they can, and they do. But not always.
Let us explain.
Do Parole Officers Call Landlords? (Explained)
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Duties of a Parole Officer
The goal of a parole officer is the successful completion of parole by the defendant.
A parole officer has a wide variety of duties, including but not limited to:
- meeting with the defendant
- assessing the defendant’s risk of re-offending
- assessing the defendant’s social support needs
- recommending programs to address potential re-offending
- developing transition plan from prison to the community
- helping the defendant get treatment, housing, employment
- establishing relationships with the defendant’s friends and families
- monitoring the defendant’s behavior
- compile information on the defendant’s behavior
- inspect the defendant’s home, vehicle, and environment
- prepare reports of violations
There are many ways that the parole officer can go about his job, and how he goes about it will depend heavily upon the individual circumstances of the defendant who is being released into the community.
Some offenders have been in prison for a long time, while others have not been in quite so long.
Some offenders went to prison for violent offenses, while others went in for white collar crimes.
Some offenders struggle with substance abuse, and others do not.
Some offenders are to be returned to a community where a large number of people who love them are ready and waiting to help them.
Others have no one.
What the parole officer does for each offender in the parole preparation and after release can be dramatically different.
Calling The Landlord
First and foremost, the parole officer can 100% contact the landlord of the defendant’s residence without getting permission from the defendant.
Second, the parole officer can tell the landlord that the defendant is on parole.
After all, the defendant’s convicted status is a matter of public record.
The parole officer is also free to answer questions about the defendant’s case or conviction, the facts of which are generally also a matter of public record.
The real question is will the parole officer call the landlord?
It really depends on the situation and on the offender.
If the offender is being released into a situation where he will be living with a spouse, family, or friend(s), the parole officer might feel comfortable gathering details about the residence from them.
He can contact the roommates to schedule a walk through of the residence, and has someone to reach out to about the offender’s behavior in the residence.
But if the offender is seeking housing and will be living alone, contacting the landlord might be the only way to get access to the residence, and the only way to check and see if there’s anything the parole officer needs to know.
In any event, the parole officer might call just to introduce himself to the landlord, so that the landlord knows to give him a call anytime something of note happens.
Impacts of the Parole Officer’s Call
The parolee and his potential roommates might not want the parole officer to call the landlord, for fear that the call will impact the housing situation.
They might also fear that the landlord will treat them poorly, or even tell other people living in the nearby complex about the presence of the parolee.
Being on parole can be hard, and there is a certain amount of stigma attached to it.
Convicted felons do struggle to find housing and employment.
That being said, the parole officer isn’t calling around to try and hurt the parolee.
Instead, he wants to make sure that the situation is the one most likely to result in success on parole.
He does not want to the parolee to lose his housing without notice.
He wants things to be as calm and stable as possible during the transition.
While it might feel like that parole officer is calling everyone to harass the offender, it isn’t.
It is the parole officer doing his job.
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