Difference between Bail & Parole

Bail and parole are two terms that are often used in legal proceedings that can be easily confused with one another. Understanding the difference between bail and parole can provide valuable insight into the legal system and help with a better comprehension of the proceedings.

Key Takeaways

  • Bail is posted prior to conviction, whereas parole is granted after conviction and on good behavior.
  • While posting bail does not guarantee release, parole grants freedom to the convict.
  • Bail involves depositing property in return for the release of a suspect prior to conviction, while parole does not involve depositing any property.

What is Bail?

Bail is the act of depositing cash or some form of property before being convicted of a crime to release a suspect from jail, with the understanding that they will return for trial and forfeit the bail. In most cases, if the suspect complies with all court conditions and appears at all court proceedings, the bail money is returned at the end of the trial, regardless of a guilty or not guilty verdict. The judge may set a certain amount of bail based on the seriousness and type of crime committed. The bond can be deposited with one’s money or through a bondsman, in which case an interest fee must also be paid. The fee and interest paid in such cases are not refundable.

What is Parole?

Parole can be defined as early release from prison before completing the maximum sentence, provided that the prisoner agrees to certain conditions. This occurs after the prisoner has spent a specific amount of time in jail, after which they may be considered for parole. During this process, a group of people determines whether the inmate should be released early based on their behavior during the sentence. The term “parole” comes from the French word meaning “voice” or “spoken word.” It originated in association with prisoners who were released on their word during the Middle Ages. However, if one is granted parole, the prisoner is not entirely free. They are required to report to a parole officer to ensure that appropriate rules and regulations are followed during their time outside. This aims to ensure the full rehabilitation of the person without hindering their freedom. If proper procedures are followed and the person demonstrates good behavior, the parolee may be released from parole.

Difference Between Bail and Parole

Facing criminal charges is a serious matter. While the consequences of being convicted can be very grave, there are ways to manage the situation with the least amount of damage caused. Bail and parole are two such methods, which are often in danger of being confused with one another due to their somewhat similar nature.

• Bail is posted before conviction, while parole is granted after conviction and is defined as early release from prison based on good behavior.
• Just because bail is posted does not mean that the suspect is released. However, parole grants freedom to the convict.
• Bail involves depositing some form of property in return for the release of a suspect before being convicted. Parole does not involve depositing any property.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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