Probation is a kind of release of a convict by a court upon a report of good conduct submitted by the probation officer in case of certain offenses and offenders.

Parole is a termination of imprisonment of a prisoner by the state government upon a report by the parole board about the good conduct of a prisoner in the prison.

Difference between Probation and Parole

Release – Probation is the release of a convict upon his conviction whereas Parole is the release of a prisoner during his imprisonment.

Granting Authority- Probation is always granted by the court whereas Parole is granted by the government upon the report/ recommendation of a parole board.

Condition Precedent – In probation, the report of the probation officer of the good conduct and behavior of the accused is mandatory whereas In Parole, report and recommendation of the parole board about the good conduct of the prisoner during his imprisonment is necessary.

Nomenclature – The person to whom probation is granted is called probationer and In parole, the prisoner to whom parole is granted is called parolee.

Supervising Authority – In probation, the probationer shall be kept under the supervision of probation officer whereas the parolee, shall be kept under the supervision of parole officer.

Duration of release – Probationer can be released on probation for a maximum period of 3 years whereas Parole may be a release either permanent or temporary for a particular period.

Regulating Law – Probation is regulated by Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 Whereas Parole is regulated by the Prisoners act.

Effect of Violations of Conditions – As probation is a conditional release by the court, violations in the conditions imposed results in cancellation of probation and the probationer shall be sent to prison. Parole is also is a conditional release of the prisoner, failure of which results in the cancellation of the parole and the prisoner shall be reverted back to jail.

Probation officer – Nature of office and duties ( Section 13) – For the purpose of Probation of Offenders Act, probation officer shall be any of the following-

  • A person appointed to be probation officer.
  • A person appointed by state government to be Probation officer
  • A person representing an NGO maybe recognized by the state government as Probation Officer.
  • A person who is qualified in the opinion of the court maybe appointed as a probation officer by the court.

Nature of Office of Probation officer (Section 15) –

A probation officer appointed or recognized under Section 13 shall be deemed to be a public servant within the definition of Section 21 of IPC.

The Probationer officer appointed and recognized under Section 13 shall work under a district magistrate where probationer reside. Further the probation officer shall report to the court, on the conduct and behavior of the probationer under his supervision.

Duties of Probationer Officer under Section 14 –

  1. Duty to inquire in accordance with the directions of the court about the character, conduct and the behavior of any person accused of any offence.
  2. Duty to submit the report to the court upon which the court may grant probation.
  3. Duty to supervise probationers placed under his supervision.
  4. Duty to endeavor to find the probationer a suitable job or employment ( as a placement officer).
  5. Duty to advice and assist the probationer in payment of compensation or cost ordered by the court assuring the complainant.
  6. Duty to advice and assist the probationer in any manner prescribed under the act (Section 4).
  7. Any other duty directed by the court from time to time.

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