Supervised Release (Parole): An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Law [Updated September 28, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "Federal courts sentence close to three quarters (72.9%) of the defendants convicted of federal offenses to a term of supervised release. Supervised release is the successor to parole in the federal criminal justice system. In the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act, Congress eliminated parole in future cases to create a more determinate federal sentencing structure. In its place, Congress instituted a system that includes supervised release, which applies to all federal crimes committed after November 1, 1987. Both parole and supervised release call for a period of supervision following release from prison and for a return to prison upon a failure to observe designated conditions. Parole ordinarily stands in lieu of a portion of the original term of imprisonment, while supervised release begins only after full service of the original term (less any 'good time' credits). Parole restrictions last no longer than the remainder of a defendant's original sentence. Supervised release restrictions can last for the remainder of a defendant's life, although the court may modify the conditions at any time and may terminate supervised release after a year. Because of their differences, some commentators and judges have highlighted the way that supervised release works differently from parole. Differences and critics notwithstanding, supervised release is now a regular feature of sentencing in the federal system. Parole is not."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21364
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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