About the board
The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole is committed to promoting public safety, utilizing sound decision making practices that include evidence-based approaches, employing effective methods to aid offenders in reentering society and to reduce recidivism, addressing the needs of crime victims, and improving county adult probation and parole services.
PA Board of Probation and Parole
The Board was established by the Parole Act of 1941, which states “The parole system provides several benefits to the criminal justice system, including the provision of adequate supervision of the offender while protecting the public, the opportunity for the offender to become a useful member of society and the diversion of appropriate offenders from prison.”
When a judge imposes a state sentence, offenders are given a minimum and maximum sentence date. This means there is a minimum amount of time that they must serve in prison before they are eligible for parole consideration, and if they are paroled they will remain on parole until the end of their maximum sentence.
The Board has the responsibility to parole, recommit for violations of parole, and to discharge from parole offenders sentenced to two years or more and offenders requested by the court for special probation.
Parole is the conditional release of an inmate from incarceration to continue serving the balance of his or her sentence under supervision within the community. Parole is a privilege, not a right; it is not automatic or guaranteed. It may be revoked for violations of the conditions of parole or for new criminal convictions.
Parole is not probation
, which is a court sentence of supervision in the community instead of a sentence to prison or jail. An offender that violates probation could be sentenced to prison.
Parole is also different from a pardon or a commutation of sentence. In Pennsylvania, the Board of Pardons
handles these situations, which is completely separate from the Board of Probation and Parole.