- Remember that your time on parole supervision can be a stressful experience for your partner, spouse, or new boyfriend or girlfriend. Even though he/she may be very happy to have you home, re-entry after prison can cause a strain on domestic relationships.
- Disputes with a partner or spouse are bound to arise. Try to solve these disputes respectfully and calmly, and if possible, without the involvement of your parole officer.
- Any allegation of domestic violence that is reported to your parole officer will be investigated and can be the basis for a violation. So be careful in your personal relationships. If your partner threatened to have you locked up, make a record of it. Save any threatening text messages or voicemails. If your partner continues to threaten you, consider leaving him or her. No partner is worth going back to jail!
Making the transition from prison to parole supervision is a difficult and trying experience no matter what your circumstances. Some situations, however, often arise that cause parole to be particularly difficult.
Issues with Partners & Spouses
Issues with Children
- Caring and providing for your children should be a primary concern, but can be particularly difficult while trying to balance your obligations to parole.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your parole officer if childcare or child support obligations interfere with your parole mandated appointments.
- Again, keep a record of any missed parole appointments or programs, why you missed the appointments and the name of who you contacted.
Issues with Employment
- Finding work can be difficult without community support, and may take a lot of effort. Do not be discouraged and submit applications as much as possible. Keep a record of all the jobs that you applied for.
- Some work you find may interfere with parole obligations, such as curfew or meetings. In this case, let your parole officer know what your options are and discuss with him/her what can be done.
- If your parole officer denies you employment, do NOT run! Speak to the parole officer’s senior parole officer or area supervisor and make a record of that conversation.
Issues with Housing
- Always stay in the residence approved by parole supervision. If you are dissatisfied with your parole approved address, DO NOT RUN. Instead, work with your PO to find appropriate housing as quickly as possible.
- Your parole officer should be helping you find appropriate housing. If you are dissatisfied about where you parole officer is making you live, speak to the parole officer’s senior parole officer or area supervisor. Again, keep a record of these conversations.
Issues with Drug & Alcohol Abuse
- Avoid excessive alcohol use and any illegal drug use. This can lead to a violation!
- If you do use, do NOT stop reporting just because you think that your parole officer will violate you. If you have an office report with dirty urine, try to work with your parole officer to find a good solution.
- Do not be afraid to report to parole even with a dirty urine. Continue to report to parole and accept any programs your parole refers to you. While it is possible to get violated on parole for drug use, these issues can often be worked out without a violation.
Issues with Your Parole Officer
- Do Not Run! Continue to report to your parole officer! If you stop reporting because your parole officer is being unreasonable or you are not getting along, you give all of the power to the DOCCS to violate you.
- Talk to your parole officer. Ask him/her why there is tension, ask whether it was something that you did, and if so, how to fix the situation so that you both can get along well.
- Use your community, family, and affiliations as resources. Sometimes talking out exactly what it is that your parole officer does that makes you feel bad or upset will help you identify exactly what is bothering you, and what triggers it.
- Contact your parole officer’s Area Bureau Chief explaining the difficulties that you’ve had and the steps that you’ve taken to try to fix the problems.
- Do not give your parole officer any excuse to violate you. Many of our clients get frustrated or scared they are going to get violated and stop reporting, Don’t do that! A warrant will issue and it will be easy for them to prove your violation.
If you have taken all of the steps outlined above and you are thinking about running, call The Legal Aid Society, Parole Revocations Defense Unit at 212 577-3500 and ask to speak to a parole revocation defense attorney about your options.
The information in this document has been prepared by The Legal Aid Society for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not act upon any information without retaining professional legal counsel.