Question 1: How Can the Ombudsman Help with Parole Issues?
You must contact the inmate or parolees Parole Agent for parole information. The Office of the Ombudsman can assist by providing basic parole and post release community supervision information; however, we do not have jurisdiction over parole issues.
Question 2: How Can I Obtain Parole Information?
You may visit the Department’s Division of Adult Parole Operations website.
Question 3: How Do I Contact a Parole Region Headquarters Office?
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact one of the regional offices or units.
Question 4: I moved to a different county after my son/daughter went to prison? Why does he/she have to report to the parole office where we used to live?
California Penal Code section 3003 states that a parolee must reside in the county they were living in prior to being sentenced to prison, unless CDCR grants them a transfer. Staff in the prison will assist an inmate in initiating a request to transfer his/her parole to another county; however, the inmate may be released before that transfer is granted. The parole agent will help the parolee with the transfer. You can also contact your son/daughter’s parole agent to request a transfer. Be prepared to provide the complete address, your contact information, and, if you are renting, a copy of your lease.
Question 5: What are the criteria for transferring parole to another county?
Penal Code 3003 and Department policy allow a parolee to reside in another county if:
- There is a need to protect the life or safety of a victim, the parolee, witness, or another person.
- The notoriety of the parolee will reduce the chances of the parolee’s success if the parolee has to live in the county he/she was living in when he/she went to prison.
- There is a verified employment or training program in another county that will allow the parolee to be financially self-sufficient.
- There are immediate family members residing in another county with whom the parolee has maintained a close connection and whose support increases the chances of the parolee’s success. Immediate family members are father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter. Other family members such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles, may also be considered on a case by case basis.
- The parolee is transferred to a treatment program in another county.
- The parolee has a job offer from a Joint Venture Program employer.
- The parolee is a Mentally Disordered Offender and needs to be placed in a county that has an outpatient program capable of helping the parolee.
Question 6: How do I get a copy of a Department regulation or policy?
Download the Department Operations Manual available online. Pursuant to the California Administrative Procedures Act, many Department rules are in Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, which is available at: http://www.oal.ca.gov/
If you cannot find what you are looking for, you will need to submit a Public Records Act request. More information about how to submit a Public Records Act request is available at: /News/CPRA.html
Question 7: I am scared because inmate X is getting out soon. What can I do?
DAPO’s first priority is public safety. Victims of and witnesses to a murder or voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, rape, sodomy by force, oral copulation, lewd acts on a child under 14, any felony punishable by death, stalking, and assault with a great bodily injury enhancement have the right to request:
- The parolee is not allowed to contact the victim, members of the victim’s family, or witnesses.
- The parolee is not allowed to live in the same county as the victim or witness.
- The parolee is not allowed to live within 35 miles of the victim or witness.
The CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services can assist you with notifications about releases, restitution collection, and referrals to services to help you. It is important that you fill out and submit the CDCR Form 1707, which helps DAPO contact you and determine where to place the parolee. In the event you are contacted by the parolee, or feel that your safety is in jeopardy after the inmate is released, call 911 immediately. If you are not in jeopardy but have concerns regarding your safety or the offender, feel free to contact the nearest parole office or the CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services at 1-877-256-6877.
When the inmate was sentenced, the judge may have imposed a restraining order. You should check the expiration date of the restraining order, and may seek to renew it if it’s expired.
Question 8: My husband just got released from prison and met with his parole agent; the agent told my husband that he cannot go to bars or places that primarily serve alcohol. The parole agent also said my husband cannot possess or consume alcohol. Why did the parole agent do this to my husband, he went to jail for robbery, not a DUI?
The parolee has a history of committing crimes while under the influence of alcohol. For example, the Robbery, which is his controlling case currently, the police/probation report noted that parolee had watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol emitting from his person, had an unsteady gate etc. all signs of intoxication. Further parolee has admitted that he drank 2 six packs a day plus hard alcohol. The restrictions are an attempt to assist the parolee with sobriety which intern would prevent or lessen future criminality. Further he has a special condition to attend and complete a substance abuse program to also assist him in his transition into mainstream society. We are doing what we can to try and assist the parolee in earning an early discharge from Parole.
Question 9: My son is on parole for a sex crime against a minor and he was told that he cannot go to church with me on Sundays because there is a Sunday school that also takes place on Sundays. I do not understand why he cannot attend church with me on Sunday when all he wants to do is attend church.
As far as church, it is not a blanket restriction, the parolee has an offense or offenses against children and the church they asked to attend has a Sunday School so that request was denied. The parolee can however attend services during the week at a facility with no Day Care or School attached and during the evening service where it is less likely he would have accidental contact with children. Also we would need a letter from the Pastor or head of that church stating they are aware of his crime and they are authorizing him to be on church grounds for services. Have a discussion with the parole agent to see if a compromise can be worked out. However it is important to remember that public safety is the number one concern. (Penal Code Section 3067)
Question 10: My daughter is on parole and she has mental health issues, and lately she has had problems with her medication and she has been acting out in the community. What can I do to help them?
Contact the parole agent. Your daughter may be receiving services from the Parole Outpatient Clinic (POC) which provides services including evaluation of mental illness, medication management, individual therapy, group therapy, crisis intervention, and case management. If your daughter is not receiving these services through parole, the parole agent can make a referral to POC for an initial evaluation. You can also seek assistance through county mental health in the area you live in. The parole agent and a trained mental health professional can work together to assist your daughter with the services she needs to effectively manage her mental health illness.
Question 11: My husband just got out of jail today and they told him that he is going to be on PRCS? What does that mean?
Your husband may be eligible for Post Release community Supervision (PRCS) and eligible for supervision by county probation. In order to confirm this, your husband needs to first, report to the parole office so that parole can make a determination on who will supervise your husband in the community. If your husband is determined to be eligible for PRCS, parole will instruct your husband to report to the probation department that will have jurisdiction.
Question 12: How do I send clothes to an inmate prior to his parole date to ensure he gets them in time?
You may send clothing to the prison for the inmate to wear once released. You may order this clothing through one of the quarterly package vendors or you may send in clothing. This clothing should arrive at the prison 30 days before the release date and be clearly marked as DRESS OUT CLOTHING on the outside of the box. The clothing that you send should include 1 full set of clothing: one pair of pants/shorts, one shirt, one set of underwear, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes/boots/flip-flops, a jacket, if necessary. Do not send articles such as wallets/IDs/credit cards/etc. Only send clothing! Check with the individual prison for the mailing address for dress out clothing.
Question 13: How do I pick up an inmate that is about to be released on parole?
Upon arrival at the prison, check with the guard at the gate for instructions. If there is no guard, proceed to the Visitor Processing Building and check in with the Correctional Officer to confirm the individual you are picking up is being released. Upon confirmation, they will give you additional instructions on where to wait and what time your inmate will be released. Plan for delays – you do not want to be late picking up your Loved One.Parolees who do not have someone there to pick them up are put in a prison van and taken to the nearest Greyhound bus station, or to the Amtrak train station. The cost of transportation is taken out of their $200 release money. If they don’t have $200 (because they’ve been in for less than 6 months), the prison make sure they have a bus ticket to the county that they were jailed.