Use of the right to parole

Every year in Russia a very large number of people are sentenced to imprisonment, and the presence of the institution of parole in the criminal legal system is intended to interest convicts in demonstrating loyalty to the regime. The basis of criminal early release is the admissibility of correction of the sentence in matters of the type and amount of punishment, depending on the behavior of the convicted person in the conditions of serving the sentence. The reason for considering parole is the corresponding petition of the convicted person, who can exercise his right to do so within the framework of the current legislation. The issue of parole is resolved by the district court at the place where the convicted person is serving his sentence, regardless of the jurisdiction of the criminal case, as part of a special commission. Parole may look like:

  1. full - provided when the convicted person is serving only the main sentence;
  2. incomplete - parole can be applied to the main term, and the additional convict continues to serve in prison.

The court may grant one of the following types of parole:

  • replace one punishment with another, milder one;
  • assign a probationary period that has the same duration as the real one.

In addition, when a convicted person is released on parole, the court may assign additional responsibilities to him that coincide with the responsibilities of those serving a suspended sentence, this could be compliance with the regime, a ban on changing his place of residence without timely notification, etc. Parole can be used only in relation to those convicted persons whose correction can be carried out without serving the full sentence. Consequently, the serving by a convicted person of part of the sentence provided by law is not yet an unconditional basis for the use of parole.

Grounds for parole

Parole is associated with two inseparable circumstances:

  • Achieving punishment goals.

Although the principle of the criminal system requires that the punishment imposed by the court be the minimum sufficient to reform the convicted person, in reality it is very difficult to accurately predict its impact on a particular convicted person. The court, when passing a sentence, takes into account as fully as possible all objective factors directly related to the personality of the criminal and the act committed, however, this is not a guarantee of the correct choice of the optimal punishment for its corrective effect in each case. In addition, one cannot fail to take into account that the personality of the convicted person undoubtedly changes during the execution of the sentence, and often the changes are of a positive nature, and, consequently, the achievement of the goal of the punishment often occurs before the full serving of the sentence. There are certain circumstances that are taken into account when applying the parole system, these are:

  1. in order for the convicted person to reform, often only part of serving the sentence is enough, and the offender must prove this by his behavior;
  2. the term of the part of the sentence that the convicted person must serve is established by the state and is based on the severity of the crime committed;
  3. the presence of a positive characteristic of the penitentiary service;
  4. a serious illness in a convict, which cannot be eliminated within the walls of the prison infirmary;
  5. presence of disability of 1st group;
  6. a serious mental disorder in a convicted person, which does not give him the opportunity to serve his sentence in prison and requires the immediate intervention of medical workers.
  • The convict serves a certain part of the assigned sentence.

In order for a convicted person to be released from prison early, he must serve some part of the sentence established by law. The legislator determines the following terms of parole:

  • one third of the sentence served - for crimes of light and medium gravity;
  • not less than half of the sentence served - for serious crimes;
  • two-thirds of the served sentence imposed by a court verdict - for especially serious crimes (the same rule applies if the previous parole was cancelled);
  • 3/4 of the sentence served - for rape of a minor, for crimes of a terrorist nature and in the field of drug trafficking, 4/5 if violent actions were used against children under 14 years of age.

Important! An application for parole can be submitted no earlier than six months after the start of serving the sentence. Moreover, if a person is sentenced to life imprisonment, then he can be released on parole no earlier than after 25 years.

Some people believe that documents for parole are submitted automatically by the administration of the correctional institution when the mandatory part of serving the sentence begins, but this is far from the case. The convicted person must contact the colony management himself and ask them to prepare the necessary documents for sending to the court. They are obliged to consider this appeal of the convicted person in a short time and no later than 10 days after the appeal, send the documents to the court.

The court's decision

Based on the results of consideration of the petition, the court may release the convicted person from the remaining sentence or refuse to satisfy his request.

In the first case, the convicted person is subject to release while maintaining supervision over him by the penal authorities. Control continues until the criminal record is expunged or expunged.

A criminal record is expunged after the expiration of the terms specified in Article 86 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: from 6 months after punishment not related to imprisonment to 10 years after punishment for especially serious crimes. We will tell you more in a separate article

If the convicted person is released early, the terms may be calculated differently depending on the type of parole:

  1. With full parole, when a person is released from the main and additional punishment, the criminal record begins to be expunged immediately after leaving the colony.
  2. With partial parole, when the additional punishment remains, the criminal record will begin to expire only after it has been served.

The court may remove the criminal record from a person released on parole immediately upon application of parole or after some time. This is possible if a person has proven by his behavior his desire for a respectable lifestyle.

Legal regulation in the procedure for obtaining parole

The procedure and grounds for parole are regulated by the provisions of Article 79 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which describes the actions of correctional institution employees if it is necessary to submit an application. As already written above, in order to be granted parole, the convicted person must contact the administration of the correctional institution; the petition can be submitted directly to the court at the location of the convicted person through a lawyer or through the administration of the correctional institution. Documents that must be present when applying for parole:

  • an application from a convicted person for parole, which should list the main arguments in favor of the convicted person - evidence of his repentance, confirmation of full or partial compensation for damage, etc.;
  • characteristics prepared by the administration of the PS;
  • a copy of the court verdict, if guilt was not recognized by the convicted person when the sentence was passed, when submitting an application for parole, an application for its recognition should be drawn up;
  • conclusion on the state of health, if the convicted person has a disease;
  • writ of execution, if there is damage reflected in the court verdict;
  • a statement from relatives and family members who can vouch for the convicted person (if desired);
  • certificate of permanent registration at the place of residence;
  • a certificate stating that the convicted person will be employed after release;
  • Additionally, you can provide documents about the presence of minor children or pregnancy, difficult financial situation, and more.

What to do in case of refusal

If a refusal decision is made, two mechanisms can be used:

Appeal the decision.

It can be appealed within 10 days from the date of receipt. The complaint is filed with the court that issued the refusal decision. A common ground for appeal is that the decision was unfair. But a detailed review of the case may reveal other violations that can be pressed on in a complaint.

These include, in particular:

1.1 Violations of notification rules.

All participants in the process must be notified of the court hearing at least 14 days in advance. In practice, courts often violate these deadlines.

Considering the large flow of incoming applications, there is a high probability that the notification of the convicted person took place much later, for example, not 14, but 10 days in advance.

When familiarizing yourself with the case materials, the lawyer must use photographic equipment to record a receipt indicating when the convicted person received the summons.

Such a receipt may not be included in the file (it was forgotten, lost among others).

Therefore, the complaint must indicate that due to improper notification, the convicted person’s right to defense was violated. Simply put, he failed to adequately prepare for the trial.

1.2 Absence of a lawyer at trial.

Mandatory participation of a lawyer is assumed if:

  • the convicted person does not refuse it;
  • if the convicted person is a foreign citizen and he does not understand Russian well;
  • if a person is convicted under an article the sanction of which provides for more than 15 years of imprisonment.

The refusal of a lawyer must be in writing. If such a statement does not appear in the case materials, the complaint must certainly indicate that the right to defense has been violated.

And in two other cases, the absence of a lawyer is a violation. But our courts often forget that the general rules of criminal law also apply to motions considered after a verdict has been passed. Therefore, an appointed lawyer is rarely present in such courts.

1.3 Absence of an interpreter in court.

This applies to foreign citizens. And even if a foreigner speaks Russian well, citizenship of another country will be a definite trump card when filing a complaint. The complaint must indicate that the convicted person did not understand anything due to the language barrier, and was unable to fully defend himself.

1.4 Lack of protocol.

Sometimes this happens. Perhaps this protocol exists in nature, but the secretary simply forgot to file it with the file. This is an ironclad basis for remanding the case for a new trial.

Peculiarities of consideration of an application for parole

When considering an application for parole, the court must necessarily take into account the behavior of the convicted person at the moment, namely: his attitude to work, study and the crime committed. Much attention is paid to whether he compensated for at least part of the damage he caused, whether he made amends to the victim. All this data must be contained in the conclusion of the administration of the correctional institution.

Important! The case is considered at the place of actual residence of the convicted person, that is, if during the period of filing the petition he was transferred to another institution, the materials must be transferred to the body where the case will be considered and a decision will be made.

The court, when considering a request for parole, must take into account whether the convicted person has a place of residence or any connections with relatives; his behavior after release may depend on this. When making a decision, the court cannot make an unreasonable decision, including refusing to release; all conclusions must be based on the documents presented, facts, characteristics and research into the personality of the convicted person. The court has the right to return documents without making a decision only when they are not correctly drawn up; in other cases, the judicial authorities do not have the right not to accept the petition. A copy of the resolution on the court decision must be sent to the administration of the correctional institution and to the authorities involved in the execution of the punishment.

What materials need to be collected additionally?

In order to present themselves in a more favorable light, the convicted person and his lawyer will have to collect more characterizing material.

So, if a convict works in a colony, it is necessary to request a reference for him from the site foreman. Next, a lawyer comes into the case, who, when interacting with relatives, will collect the following documents:

Guarantees for household and work facilities

If the convicted person has his own home, he must provide title documents. If there is no housing, then you can get by with a letter of guarantee from the owner (with a certificate of title and a copy of the passport attached), who is ready to provide the convict with his housing and registration in it.

A guaranteed certificate of employment can be obtained if the relatives agree with the organization about hiring the convicted person after release. But if an agreement cannot be reached, then some employers (usually individual entrepreneurs) will be able to provide such a certificate for an additional fee. No one will check the validity of subsequent employment and household arrangements.

Household characteristics

The lawyer sends a corresponding request to law enforcement agencies, after which the local police officer will go to the address and interview relatives and neighbors. Or the relatives themselves can agree with their neighbors on a positive reference and have such a reference certified by the management organization.

Other characteristics

This may include references from a previous place of work, letters of gratitude, various certificates for sports and other cultural achievements.

Documents about marital status

If the convicted person is married and has children, we attach these documents to the case file. This characterizes him as a family-oriented and stable person.

Consent of the victim

In order for the victim to make a positive verdict regarding early release, it is necessary to interact with him.

First of all, make amends for the harm caused. In addition, you can pay some amount for moral compensation. After this, the relatives or the lawyer of the convicted person sit down with the victim at the negotiating table and persuade him to write consent for parole.

This is a very important factor, since recently the opinion of the victim is taken into account by the court when deciding on release.

All collected documents must be immediately attached to the application for parole.

Responsibilities of a convicted person after release on parole

Regardless of the type of crime, parole can be applied, subject to compliance with the deadlines established by law, to all convicted persons. However, after release, they are subject to certain requirements that must be strictly fulfilled:

  1. a person released on parole must not change his place of residence, work or study without notifying the supervisory authority in writing;
  2. a person released on parole has no right to visit gambling establishments, night bars and restaurants; if he is seen there, he will be required to give a written explanation of his action (the inspector has the right to take testimony from witnesses in this regard);
  3. Parole may be revoked if the convicted person does not fulfill his obligations regarding payment of damages to the victim;
  4. a person released on parole must not use psychotropic and narcotic substances, otherwise compulsory treatment will be applied;
  5. a person released on parole should not communicate with accomplices in a crime or other persons with a criminal past.

All of these obligations can be canceled by the court, and new requirements can be added depending on the identity of the convicted person and the type of crime committed by him. Control over the fulfillment of requirements after the release of a convicted person falls on a special authorized body.

The concept and institution of parole

Parole is the release of a prisoner before the end of his sentence due to certain reasons. However, he will have to comply with the requirements established by state authorities during the entire unserved sentence. This is monitored by a specialist assigned to the offender.

The institution of parole was adopted back in the 19th century. At the same time, parole was used as an incentive. That is, the prisoner has an incentive to correct himself, to realize the consequences of his action, to desire to build a normal life and not go to prison again. It should be noted that this institution applies to any type of offender, regardless of the severity of the crime.

However, there is ongoing debate in society about whether it is necessary to grant parole to repeat offenders, people who have committed mass or serial murders. In this case, it is necessary to consider the degree of repentance of the criminal, his sincerity. Naturally, we should not forget about the feelings of the victims and their right to justice.

It should also be said that parole is not the revocation of a sentence. Punishment can be replaced by a lighter form of responsibility if the offender has proven that he is on the road to reform. The offender is monitored throughout the entire unserved sentence. Only after it has ended can parole not be revoked. That is, the criminal record is considered expunged.

When a parole order can be revoked

The legislation establishes certain requirements for a person released after release on parole; violation of these requirements may lead to the cancellation of the court order, and, consequently, to the resumption of the sentence of imprisonment until the end of the entire term. In addition, if the released person commits a new crime while on parole, the term of the new sentence will be increased - the parole will be canceled and a new term will be added to it for the new offense.

Important! If the new crime was committed due to negligence, the court has the right to decide whether there is a need to revoke parole or whether it is possible to get by with a more lenient punishment provided for by law.

Violation of the requirements of parole may also include malicious failure to comply with the conditions of release, atrocities entailing administrative liability - petty hooliganism, drinking alcohol, fights, etc., as well as lack of response to the comments of the supervising inspector.

Procedure for filing an application

Parole (the procedure for release is specified in the Criminal Code) requires the submission of a special petition. It is drawn up by the convicted person, his representative or lawyer. The administration of the institution must send a petition and a description of the identity of the offender to the court within 10 days. It happens that the convicted person is seriously ill or suffers from a mental disorder. In this case, a certificate from the attending physician must be sent to the court.

Also, the prison administration or the body that carries out the punishment has the right to submit a proposal to replace the remaining part of the punishment with some other and milder type of responsibility. Naturally, if the prisoner is characterized positively.

The court may well refuse to grant parole from a criminal sentence. However, this does not mean that the convicted person can no longer file a petition. He can make his next attempt in six months. If the convicted person is sentenced to life imprisonment, then the deadline for the next filing of a petition is after 3 years.

So, the procedure for applying involves the following actions:

  • Collection of required documents.
  • Submission of papers to the administration of the institution.
  • Transfer of documents to the court.
  • Consideration of the application.
  • Parole order or refusal.

It must be said that the court must notify the prisoner of the date, time and place of consideration of his issue. An official letter or SMS message can be used for this. In this case, the convicted person provides official documentary confirmation of receipt of such notice.

Peculiarities of using parole for juvenile offenders

According to statistics, in our country there are a lot of people who commit crimes under the age of 18, while the criminal liability of minors is somewhat different from the general rules. However, teenagers sentenced to imprisonment by the court also have the opportunity to apply for parole. The procedure for the parole of convicted minors follows general rules, but there are several exceptions regarding the time frame. Thus, the statute of limitations for committing a crime and the time of the unserved part of the sentence are reduced by exactly half. For example, if a minor offender has committed an act of minor or moderate gravity, he no longer poses a danger to society, has served the necessary part of his sentence and has completely repented of his crime, then after being released on parole, control over him will remain only for one year, and if we are talking about serious or especially serious crimes, then the remaining part of the sentence to serve is at least three years, regardless of what sentence the court passed. In addition, there are special grounds for persons under 18 years of age, these are:

  1. Exemption from criminal liability - applies if a teenager has committed a crime of minor or moderate gravity and can correct himself without punishment in the form of imprisonment. In this case, compulsory educational measures may be applied to him.
  2. Conditional early release from serving a sentence is applied if a teenager has committed a serious or especially serious crime. At the same time, a minor offender may be sent to a specialized closed institution that has an educational program and is under the jurisdiction of the penitentiary service.
  3. Early release from conditional punishment - if a teenager is sentenced to forced labor and restriction of freedom, he has not committed malicious violations of the order established by the executive body during the execution of the sentence, then he deserves parole.

A feature of the parole procedure for minors is that a teenager cannot be considered a repeat offender, even if he committed a new crime before the end of the previous one; the severity of the offense is also not taken into account.

Judicial procedure

So, the petition for early release is in court with all the documents collected on it. The time frame for consideration of such applications is not regulated by law, but, in practice, the courts try to consider them within one month and in one court session.

The court informs the convicted person, a representative of the colony administration, the prosecutor supervising correctional institutions, and the victim (if there is a corresponding written statement about informing the victim) about the time of the hearing.

If previously the whole judge went to the colony to conduct parole hearings, now there is a new technical opportunity to conduct a meeting via video link.

Special equipment is installed in all colonies and courts. Thus, if the convicted person wishes to attend the trial, his participation is ensured via video communication.

But it is still better to send your lawyer to the meeting. The personal participation of the representative is necessary at least so that he can attach any missing documents or familiarize himself with the materials that opponents will provide.

The chronology of the trial is as follows:

  1. The judge opens the hearing by announcing which particular petition will now be considered;
  2. The identity of the prosecutor, the convicted person, the colony representative, and the victim is established;
  3. The parties are explained their rights. They can challenge the judge, secretary, prosecutor, get acquainted with all documents submitted to the court, make motions (for example, ask to include documents, examine some evidence, interview someone, etc.), give their explanations, conduct their affairs through representative lawyer.
  4. Participants in the process are asked about the presence of requests, and they are resolved (for example, at the request of a lawyer, documents are attached).
  5. The petition for parole itself is read out, and the convict and his lawyer, the representative of the colony, and the victim are given the floor. Participants in the meeting may ask questions on the merits of the application being considered.
  6. The materials and documents presented to the court are examined.
  7. The judge hears the prosecutor's opinion on the possibility of release.
  8. Removal of the court to the deliberation room to make a decision.
  9. On the same day, the judge makes a decision in the form of a ruling and announces its contents.
  10. After the announcement, the procedure for appealing the decision is explained.

To sum it up: some tips on parole

Without a doubt, those convicted should know their rights, and if a person sincerely repented of his offense, admitted his guilt and atoned for it, he has the right to be released from prison at an earlier date than provided for by the court verdict. For timely application of parole, it is recommended:

  • purposefully take the path of correction from the first days of being in prison - exemplary behavior, high performance in work or study, compensation for damage, admission of guilt, reconciliation with the victim, etc.;
  • collect the necessary documents in advance so that you can start processing parole immediately after serving the minimum sentence established by Russian legislation;
  • even after being released on parole, it is necessary to comply with certain requirements for early release, which means leading an appropriate lifestyle - finding a job, not abusing alcohol, and strictly following the rules established by the supervisory authority.

What is a “petition” and who files it?

Now we should consider what is needed in order to obtain parole. A petition for parole is a special petition that must contain not only a description from the administration about the behavior and personality of the convicted person, but also other information. For example, it must contain the conclusion of the relevant authorities that the entire sentence is not required to correct the convicted person, that he has proven by his behavior that he is worthy of being released and starting a new life. It is submitted so that the offender has the opportunity to leave the place of serving his sentence before the end of his sentence.

The petition also requires proof that the inmate has compensated the victim or his family for financial damages.

Such a petition can be submitted either by the prisoner himself or by his lawyer or representative. It should also be noted that the petition can be submitted to the court without the knowledge of the convicted person. Modern legislation allows this. The document must be submitted through the administration of the institution where the offender is serving his sentence, or the body that executes the court sentence.

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