Community Justice Assistance Division
How We Differ From Parole
The public often confuses the terms community supervision (probation) and parole. Although both systems supervise convicted offenders and offer similar sanctions and rehabilitation programs, their functions are quite different:
- Offenders on community supervision serve their sentences in the community. They are sentenced by local county-courts-at-law and district judges.
- Offenders are eligible for parole after they are released from prison.
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (Volume 4, Section 509.003, Standards and Procedures) defines parole and community supervision this way:
- Community Supervision: The supervised release of a convicted defendant by a court under a continuum of programs and sanctions with conditions imposed by the court for a specific period during which the imposition of a sentence is suspended: A) criminal proceedings are deferred without judgement of guilt, or B) a sentence of imprisonment or confinement, imprisonment and a fine, or confinement and a fine, is probated and the imposition of sentence is suspended in whole or in part.
- Parole: Parole means the conditional release of an eligible prisoner from the physical custody of the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to serve the remainder of the sentence under the supervision and control of the board.