Parole is granted to a prison inmate as a provisional release, meaning under certain terms and conditions, the inmate will be able to live outside of prison, while under the supervision of a parole officer, prior to the completion of his or her maximum prison sentence. Parole is granted by the state’s Parole Board based on a number of different factors, including severity of an offense, whether the inmate has shown reform while in prison, if the inmate has participated in any specialized programs for rehabilitation, whether the inmate will pose any threat to society and how easily they may integrate back into society, the length of time already served, age and education, among many other factors.
North Carolina Law
North Carolina abolished parole proceedings in 1994 when lawmakers instead decided to enact structured sentencing, which is now accompanied by post-release supervision instead of parole. Parole still does exist for those crimes that were committed prior to 1994, with some inmates still operating under that system regarding their charges and eligibility for supervised release. For those inmates, the state Parole Board reviews the record at least once a year and communicates a decision regarding parole with the inmate based on the factors discussed above.
North Carolina courts now follows a structured sentencing chart that outlines how much time an offender will serve based on prior record, as well as if the offense is an aggravated one. Once convicted, an inmate is given a minimum time in which they must serve as well as a maximum time. Structured sentencing in North Carolina mandates that the inmate must serve 100 percent of the minimum time given by the court or at least 85 percent of the maximum time, whichever is greater. Similar to parole, once that time is served by the inmate they are automatically eligible for post release supervision depending on their offense.
The Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission in North Carolina was created to make recommendations regarding the modification or sentencing laws, policies and options. This Commission classifies criminal offenses based on their severity, recommends structures for sentencing, recommends a community corrections strategy for the state and makes other additional policy recommendations, all of which lead to how it is determined whether an inmate is released for post-release supervision or if his or her crime does not qualify. Class A felonies get the death sentence or life without parole, while class B1 felonies get 144 months to life without parole. Class B2 to Class I range in severity and imprisonment time of three months to 393 months, but may be eligible for post-release supervision. Class B1 through Class E, if released will have supervision for 12 months, while Class F through Class I will have supervision for nine months following their release.
Mandatory Post-Release Supervision, like parole, is intended to lower the possibility of re-offense by the offender through continued treatment and education, reintegrating the offender back into their community and monitoring their behavior in the community in an effort to support the offender. However, unlike parole, once offenders with a felony conviction have served their required time of the full minimum sentence or 85 percent of the maximum sentence, they are released on post-release supervision.
Conditions of Post-Release Supervision
Offenders will be subject to obeying general conditions such as: not committing another crime while on post-release supervision, working honestly to pursue education or training in order to gain employment, supporting those dependent on you as well as your family, not using any illegal drugs or substances, not possessing a firearm or destructive device, reporting to post-release supervision officer and permit an officer’s home visits, remaining in fixed area unless granted permission by officer, paying back restitution, and obeying all federal, state and municipal laws. Some offenders’ releases are subject to special conditions, such as: receiving scheduled counseling or treatment, continuing skills programs, obtaining substance abuse assessments for abuse, submitting drug or breathalyzer tests, allowing for reasonable search, and adhering to curfew, among many other conditions.
What Happens If I Violate my Post-Release Supervision?
If an offender violates any of the conditions of his or her post-release supervision agreement, the Commission may do a number of things to change the terms of the offender’s release. The Commission can either decide to allow the offender to continue under the existing supervision agreement, with or without modifying any of the conditions in place, or if the supervisor finds that the modification or continuation of the existing terms would be inappropriate depending on the violation, then they may revoke the post-release supervision and re-imprison the offender.
Offenders may be imprisoned again for the time remaining on their maximum sentence if their supervision was revoked for a violation of a required controlling condition of release, or for absconding in violation of further conditions. The offender may receive credit however for the time they were in compliance with the terms and conditions of the release on a daily basis against their maximum term. The offender cannot receive credit for the last six months of his parole if he has violated. If the offender does serve the final six months of the maximum imprisonment, he or she is not required to serve any further time for post-release supervision.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Now
If you or someone you know has wrongfully had their post-release supervision revoked by the state or is seeking assistance in their criminal defense, please do not hesitate to call our determined Charlotte criminal defense attorneys at The Offices of Remington & Dixon, PLLC or get in touch using our live chat feature on our website or the messaging center. We will help you fight for what you deserve. Everyone makes mistakes, but you do not have to pay for yours forever, let our experienced legal team help you obtain the best result possible in your legal defense.
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.