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  • Definitions

    The following definition section represents commonly-used terminology in the United States.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    C

    Clemency
    A disposition to be merciful and lenient in terms of the severity of the punishment due.

    Community Corrections
    A rehabilitative tool designed to provide offenders sentenced to probation or parole supervision and utilizing community resources in an effort to minimize the reoccurrence of subsequent offenses, including but not limited to job development, substance abuse treatment services, anger management, and educational class (GED).

    Commutation of Sentence
    A gubernatorial decree that reduces an offender’s "life" imprisonment to a term of years. Once this action has been taken by the Governor, the offender becomes eligible for release consideration by the Parole Board.

    Concurrent Sentences
    Court-ordered imposed multiple criminal sentences where the convictions are served collectively or simultaneously by an offender.

    Consecutive Sentences
    Court-ordered, imposed, multiple criminal sentences where the convictions are served by an offender one criminal sentence after another.

    Credit Time (Good Time Credits)
    Early release from incarceration due to good behavior in prison.

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    D

    Determinate Sentence
    Some state laws require judges to impose what are called "determinate" prison sentences, or fixed-term sentences, e.g., "30 days in county jail" or "five years in state prison."

    Discharge
    The expiration of a court-ordered, time-specific criminal sentence.

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    G

    GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) Monitoring
    An electronic monitoring program that has been used most commonly for tracking sex offenders as well as in domestic violence/stalking cases. The program uses global positioning satellite technology to monitor offenders movements whenever they are away from home base, and allows for inclusion and exclusion zones where the offender can and cannot be. If the offender violates an exclusion zone, the monitoring center then contacts the home detention field officer who conducts an investigation and determines whether law enforcement personnel will be dispatched. Most GPS monitoring is imposed during the pre-trial, probation or parole supervision stages. GPS utilization can oftentimes require Court approval or can be at the discretion of the community-based corrections management staff.

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    I

    Indeterminate Sentence
    The prison term imposed after conviction for a crime which does not state a specific period of time or release date, but rather a range of time, such as "five-to-ten years."

    Inter-State Compact
    A reciprocal, offender supervision agreement program, implemented on state-by-state participation basis. Offenders receive permission from their originating state of conviction to transfer his/her community supervision to another state to complete their probationary or parole supervisory status. Offenders traveling to a different state for supervision must abide by the original terms and conditions of release while in a different location.

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    M

    Mandatory Release
    The date on which the law requires the release of an offender from prison. The remainder of the sentence after mandatory release may be spent on parole, under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

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    P

    Parole
    A conditional release of a prisoner serving an inderminate or unexpired sentence. The conditions are set by groups of individuals serving on Parole Boards or Releasing Authorities.

    Parole Hearing
    A formal administrative examination conducted by a releasing authority.

    Parole Hold / Parole Warrant
    An issuance for the arrest of an alleged parolee who is alleged to have violated the terms and/or conditions of their parole agreement. Upon apprehension by law enforcement the parole violator may be "held" or confined in a secured, locked facility pending adjudication at a parole revocation hearing.

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    R

    Re-Entry
    Programs targeted at promoting the effective reintegration of offenders back to communities upon release from prison and jail.

    Re-Entry Courts
    Recently introduced, re-entry courts offer the opportunity for more extensive management and treatment of offenders beginning at the sentencing phase. Re-entry courts promote offender accountability while providing treatment and services during the reentry process.

    Re-Entry Programming
    A comprehensive case management approach intended to assist offenders in acquiring the life skills needed to succeed in the community and become law-abiding citizens, e.g., prerelease programs, drug rehabilitation and vocational training, and work programs.

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    S

    Stipulations of Parole
    Terms and conditions provided in the parole release agreement. Additional conditions may be included at the discretion of the Parole Board. Offenders agreeing to the terms and conditions of the parole agreement "stipulate," that they understand the terms and conditions and will not re-offend. Stipulation can also be used in a parole revocation hearing by which a suspected parolee violator acknowledges there have been one or more breaches of the initial parole agreement for which they could be revoked and returned to incarceration.

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    Ask a question about these or other terms used in the process of parole to info@apaintl.org or keith@apainlt.org