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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.

Texas Statutes define community supervision and parole this way:

  • Community Supervision: The placement of a defendant by a court under a continuum of programs and sanctions, with conditions imposed by the court for a specific period during which: A) criminal proceedings are deferred without an adjudication of guilt; or B) a sentence of imprisonment or confinement, imprisonment and fine, or confinement and fine, is probated and the imposition of sentence is suspended in whole or in part. (Article 42.12, Section 2, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure)

  • Parole: Parole means the discretionary and conditional release of an eligible inmate sentenced to the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to serve the remainder of the sentence under the supervision of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. (Section 508.001, Texas Government Code).