Living with someone on parole can be stressful and challenging.
In this article, you’ll find information and tips you may not have thought about before committing to the living arrangements.
Tips For Living With Someone On Parole
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What Is Parole?
Parole does not mean that the case is over, or that the defendant is free.
Parole is the next phase of the defendant’s punishment.
It is a form of supervised release into the community.
It could also be considered a less restrictive form of incarceration.
While many individuals are successful on parole, a good portion of individual are not.
People are most likely to be successful on parole when they are surrounded by people who support their transition back into the world, and live the lifestyle that the defendant needs to live to avoid failing parole.
Understanding what parole is (and is not) is the first step to successfully living with someone who is on it.
Tip: Know What The Rules Are
A roommate on parole has to live with a ton of rules.
These can be rules about what can be in the house (or not), and who can be in the house (or not).
For example, some parolees cannot be near children while on parole, while others cannot be in possession of certain drinks or substances that would otherwise be legal.
This is even the case if the person is unlikely to do anything bad or wrong with them.
This is even the case if the non-parolee roommate has a lawful and legitimate need for them.
If the housemates do not know the rules, they can inadvertently put the parolee in danger of breaking the terms of his parole.
If a parolee is determined to have violated his parole conditions, he could end up back in jail for a lengthy period of time and may not have parole as an option again in the future.
The roommates of a parolee should get a written copy of the rules/orders from the defendant or even directly from the probation officer.
Some restrictions you might not consider include:
- no adult materials (erotic or otherwise)
- stay a certain distance away from schools or places children frequent
- no computers, cameras, or the internet
- no traveling without permission
- reporting in daily (meaning staying within cell service)
- no contact with specific people
- driving logs or no driving
- no PO Box
Tip: Be Prepared To Live The Lifestyle
To live with a parolee, a roommate (or loved one) needs to be someone the parole officer approves of.
It is fairly common for the parolee to need approval from the parole officer to live in a particular place.
If the roommates cannot live a lifestyle that the parole officer approves of, then he won’t allow the living situation.
Parole officers have broad rights when it comes to parolees; they can come search the parolee’s things/vehicle without notice.
This may bring parole officers into other areas of the house (such as the bedroom you share, the garage, basement, etc).
If you think that an unexpected search of your property could result in legal troubles for you personally (as well as the parolee), consider conferring with an attorney before moving forward.
You may have the right to refuse to allow the parole officers to search areas of the property where the parolee does not spend time or have a right to, but this may cause the parole officer to revoke his permission to allow the parolee to live there.
Tip: The Transition Is Stressful
Celebrate the release, but beware.
hard times are coming.
A person who has been living in prison (especially for long stretches) has become accustomed to jail.
Jail is all about structure and routine, and inmates become dependent upon that routine.
It is difficult to leave that structure and once again be in charge of the day-to-day.
Even if a defendant is happy and excited to be out of jail, he can also feel anxiety and discomfort.
All of his support system is gone (structure, friends, job, and status).
He may have none of these things on the outside.
This can lead to turbulent emotional outburst, or disputes/fights.
Many relationships fail during parole because of the transition stress.
Make sure to factor in self-care or even counseling for the non-parolees in the residence.
Tip: The Parolee Is a Different Person
No matter how close people were before prison, and how much they stayed in contact during prison…prison changes everyone.
Be prepared to have to get to know each other all over again, and make the hard decisions as time goes on about whether it makes sense to continue to live together.
Tip: Schedule Will Be Very Full
The parolee will likely have a full schedule after his release.
The demands of the parole officer come before all things, including the needs of the household and the children.
Be prepared to continue living life (and doing the work of the house) as you did before his release, at least for a while.
In the meantime, the parolee will be required to attend meetings, trainings, community service, rehab, school, and/or to get a job.
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