Upon your release from prison, you will be given a set of conditions and instructions to report to a parole officer in your community. The officer may provide additional conditions including a curfew, a residency requirement, or that you attend all parole court appearances.
Your relationship with your parole officer greatly affects how well you do on parole. Here are some tips to help your relationship with him/her:
Do all you can to be on time for office reports with your parole officer. If possible, try to make your office reports early in the day before the office gets busy. If you are going to be late, call and let your parole officer know why. Make sure that you sign in when you arrive. If the receptionist tells you that your parole officer is not available, be sure to get the receptionist’s name.
Keep your parole officer’s numbers
Keep your officer’s cell and office numbers in your phone, and keep a written copy on yourself at all times. This ensures you can get in touch with your parole officer if any issue comes up, or if you lose your phone. Also ensure that a family member or close friend knows how to contact your parole officer, in case you need to but can’t for some reason.
Report any contact with law enforcement
This includes contact with traffic or transit police. You must also report any contact that does not result in an arrest such as being a witness or victim to a crime. Your parole officer will not want to find out from someone else, so tell them first.
Communicate with your parole officer
Contact you parole officer whenever possible when personal circumstances result in missed appointments with parole, drug treatment, or other parole mandates.
Keep copies of all your records
Keep copies of records including job applications, program letters, school applications, housing paperwork, etc. You should be able to show your parole officer all the efforts you are making, even those that are unsuccessful.
Keep a logbook of every interaction with your parole officer
This log should include the times you called or went by the office and did not actually speak with him/her. This can be as simple as keeping a notebook with dates and times and a little note saying what happened. Keep copies of all you records and logbook in a secure place in one location. If possible save or backup any text messages from your parole officer. Tell a family member or close friend where they are so they can retrieve the records if you are unable.
Make all of your office reports to your parole officer
If you are making your reports, other problems can many times be addressed, but once you stop reporting you are likely to get violated. If you miss one report, it is a good idea to call the parole office as soon as possible to explain why you missed your report. If possible, go directly to the office, and make sure that you write down the name of the person who you spoke to. Staying in communication with your parole officer or office is critical.
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.
Last Updated: 23 August 2023
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