Parole is a term of community supervision afforded by the Parole Board to a prisoner who has served the minimum portion of his or her sentence, less good time or disciplinary credits if applicable. While on parole, a parolee is supervised by an agent who is an employee of the Department of Corrections. At the successful completion of the parole period, the offender is "discharged" from his or her sentence. If a parolee violates the parole terms, he or she can be sent back to prison. The Parole Board retains jurisdiction until the maximum-sentence is served in prison or the offender discharges from parole.
The factors considered by the parole board in making parole decisions include :..
• the crime for which the prisoner is serving ,
• prior criminal record,
• institutional behavior and adjustment,
• the parole guidelines score
• any information obtained from the prisoner interview and
• information from victims and other relevant sources.
The parole guidelines score, mandatory for all prisoners eligible to be considered for parole, is a numerical scoring system designed to assist in applying objective criteria to any decision made by the parole board. Information used to calculate the parole guidelines score are the prisoner’s current offense, the prior criminal record, institutional conduct and program performance, age, mental status and statistical risk. Michigan law and departmental policy allows parole to be granted without interview if the prisoner’s parole guidelines score falls in the high guidelines category (+4 and above), provided the prisoner is not serving for a sex offense or a crime involving a death.
Probation is a term of supervision afforded either a convicted felon or a convicted misdemeanant by a court as an alternative to prison or jail, although some judges may sentence offenders to a combination of both probation and jail or boot camp. The Michigan Department of Corrections supervises convicted felons who are serving probation sentences under the jurisdiction of the sentencing court.
Pardon is an act of grace from governing power which mitigates punishment and restores rights and privileges forfeited on account of the offense.