What is the difference between probation and parole?

Both probation and parole are alternatives to incarceration (jail or prison time) that may be granted to convicted offenders. In both cases, the offender’s rights are restricted, and they must not run afoul of the law in order to stay out of jail.

Probation is granted or revoked only by a judge. It is usually imposed on an offender as an alternative to incarceration, but in some cases may be imposed in addition to jail time.

Parole is a conditional release from jail or prison after part of a sentence has been served. It is granted or revoked by a parole board, part of the correctional system.

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