Felons serving their time in prison look forward to their release even though they must typically complete a period of parole or probation on their return to society.
While they are on parole or probation, they must adhere to certain conditions. If they fail to comply, there will be consequences, including a possible return to prison.
This blog post will address the question of what it means to be absconded from parole or probation.
- What Is Parole?
- What Is Probation?
- What Does Abscond Mean?
- Absconding Is a Violation of Probation or Parole
- Factors in Absconding
- Supporting a Felon in Not Absconding Parole or Probation
What is Parole?
When a felon is paroled, they are permitted to serve a part of their sentence in community supervision.
Parole is the early, conditional release of a felon:
- Before the end of a prison sentence
- On the condition they follow certain rules
- For the remainder of their sentence
Parole can be granted when a felon:
- Has observed and adhered to prison rules
- Their release would not lessen the seriousness of their crime
- Their release would not jeopardize public safety
What Is Probation?
Probation is part of a felon’s prison term from the time of sentencing. During the probation period, they remain under court supervision in the supervision of an officer of the court, the probation officer.
They must follow certain rules established by the sentencing judge.
These rules usually include a regular meeting with the probation officer, community service, refraining from illegal drugs and alcohol, staying away from certain places and people, and appearing in court if requested.
The length of probation varies according to the offense and the criminal history of felons. Probation can last from one to three years, but it can last longer even up to life depending on the offense, such as drug or sex offenses.
This is decided by the judge according to the “rehabilitative needs of the criminal defendant.”
What Does Abscond Mean?
To abscond from parole or probation means to have one’s whereabouts unknown. Felons who abscond have left the jurisdiction of the court without permission from the court or the parole or probation officer.
Felons who abscond have violated their probation or parole. The terms of either specify that they are not to leave the district in which they reside without consent of their parole or probation officer or the court.
Felons who take a job outside of their district or the state in which they live without permission are considered to be absconding.
A violation report will be filed, and felons will be apprehended.
Regardless of how long a felon is absconded, their offense doesn’t go away. They will face the completion of their sentence when apprehended.
Absconding is a Violation of Probation or Parole
Violation of probation happens when any of the conditions set forth by the court are not met, including absconding.
When a violation occurs, the probation officer has the duty of deciding on the consequences. These may include a warning or attendance at a probation violation hearing.
If the parole or probation officer decides a felon violated probation, there may be additional terms added to the probation, a fine, revoked probation, or prison time. Felons in this situation will want to have legal counsel present.
If the probation or parole is revoked, a revocation hearing is conducted by a neutral judge. At the hearing, the prosecuting attorney must show felons violated the conditions by a “preponderance of evidence.”
Felons will also hear any new charges that may be filed with the judge either supporting a felon’s case or refute the evidence.
The judge may add time to the original probation or parole, hand down a fine, require treatment, jail time, or serving out the remainder of the original sentence depending on the circumstances.
A probation violation decision can be appealed to a higher court.
Factors in Absconding
Once released from prison, one of the biggest hurdles felons face is finding a job. They are expected to do so as part of their parole or probation and re-entry into society.
As felons, they have probably not had a stable job history. This is in itself one reason felons turn to crime in the first place. They may not have strong job skills due to a lack of education or no vocational training.
They may lack the interview skills to be hired for a position. Also, there may be a lack of are motivation to find and keep jobs. Imagine returning from incarceration and struggling to find a job for any of these reasons.
It can be difficult to find an employer who is willing to hire an ex-offender. Many companies will not. It doesn’t take many rejections from potential employers to discourage felons to the point that they give up on a job search.
But there is the constant pressure to make a living and provide for their family. If nothing else works out they may turn again to crime to make money.
Leading an honest life requires major changes in their lives. Staying away from crime and living a productive, honest life free from crime is not easy.
Some felons’ response to this pressure is to abscond to escape this stress by fleeing or moving from their district in hopes that this will make their offense go away.
Supporting a Felon in Not Absconding Parole or Probation
As supporters and significant others, it is important to be there to encourage them not to abscond for any reason.
They will need assistance from those who care about them to learn new job and coping skills. Reaching out for help from organizations in place to help those leaving prison will be an essential step in their recovery.
Extend that helping hand to begin making a difference as ex-offenders create a new identity as productive members of society.
Families of felons will be able to verify the many challenges their loved one faces. Statistics are against felons. As many as 2/3 return to prison within the first two years following their release.
Families need to let their loved one know that they are there supporting them. The challenges are great, but they don’t have to be overwhelming or stop their lives.
After all, felons completed their sentences, often lasting years. How did they do that? Simple. They did it one day at a time, just like they have to approach life now.
They made it through their prison sentence. They can make it after prison without absconding from probation or parole also with support by their side.
So what do you think about this blog post about absconding from probation or parole? Have you or someone you know absconded from probation or parole? What was that experience like and how did they deal with it? Please tell us in the comments below.