About the Parole Board

Mission Statement

The Pennsylvania Parole Board promotes public safety by using evidence-based practices to make equitable parole decisions that allow for respect and protection of crime victims, rehabilitation and positive change, and prevention of future crimes. The Parole Board strives to create a just, efficient and transparent parole process that is respectful of all persons, and operates with integrity and without bias.

About the Parole Board

The Parole 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 Parole 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 probabtion, 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 Parole Board.