Just because the court sentences a person to prison for a period does not mean that they will necessarily have to spend all that time in prison. An inmate could be released into the world under specific conditions before they complete their sentence term. Usually, inmates are eligible for parole if they had good behavior and meet specific requirements.
Not all inmates are eligible to get conditional release from prison before their sentence term is over. The eligibility for parole will depend on the crime they committed and the time they have served in prison. Inmates are not eligible for parole if:
- They are a habitual offender
- They committed a sex crime
- They have a life imprisonment sentence
- They committed a violent crime
- They trafficked substances
If none of these criteria apply to the inmate, they are eligible for parole. However, the laws in Mississippi state that to get parole, a person needs to have served at least one-fourth of their sentence term or not less than 10 years if their sentence was for more than 30 years.
The process for parole
The State Parole Board will determine the tentative parole hearing after they have assumed custody of the offender. They will schedule the hearing for a tentative date after the inmate has completed at least one-fourth of their sentence term. If the inmate meets the criteria established for parole, the State Parole Board will ask them to complete an educational development or job training program. If the inmate refuses to do either program, the board might deny their parole.
Life on the outside
Once the board releases the inmate from prison, the inmate will have to comply with the conditions set by the board. Often, these conditions include obeying the law and informing the board of important decisions such as moving or changing jobs. If a person violates the terms of parole, the court will send them back to prison.