If you have a family member on parole, it means that he or she is serving the rest of a sentence outside prison. Parole is conditional, meaning that if your family member violates paroles expectations, he or she could go back to prison.
You may hope that, once your family member is out on parole, everything will go back to the way it was before he or she went to prison. However, this is rarely the case. It can take time for a parolee to readjust to life in the outside world. The New Jersey State Parole Board suggests some things you can do to help.
1. Understand the expectations of parole
The expectations of parole are the things your family member has to do to, or avoid, to stay out of prison while serving out the rest of his or her sentence. Specific expectations may vary based on the charge, but generally speaking, the parolee will have to find and keep a job, avoid associating with known felons, obey the law and report regularly to a parole officer. When you know what the parole expectations are, you are in a better position to help your family member meet them.
2. Provide opportunities for positive influence
Try to steer your family member toward a role model or mentor who can help him or her meet parole expectations, find a job and generally make good life choices going forward.
3. Maintain communication with the parole officer
You can help facilitate communication between your family member and his or her parole officer. In addition, you can contact the parole officer yourself if you have any concerns about the parolee relapsing.
Helping your family member meet parole expectations can help prevent violations that could result in further penalties.