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Parole | Parole vs Furlough

  • Context (IE | TH): Athlete Oscar Pistorius was released on parole from jail after serving 9 years.
  • Parole refers to a prisoner’s timebound release before the end of a sentence, in exchange for good behavior.
  • It is the privilege given to the prisoners to return to society and socialize with families and friends.
  • It can last up to one month and can be extended under special circumstances.

Exemptions to Parole

  • Those convicted of crimes against the state or are a threat to national security.
  • People convicted of murder, rape of children, and other crimes, unless the issuing authority decides otherwise.


  • It is a conditional release with no uniform legislation.
  • Its objective is to break the monotony of jail and allow the inmate to maintain contact with the outside world, based on good conduct.
  • There are no specific provisions related to Parole and Furlough in the Prisons Act, 1894 and the Prisoners Act, 1900.
  • Section 59 of the Prisons Act empowers States to make rules for the shortening of sentences as rewards for good conduct.

Distinction Between Parole and Furlough

Basis of Distinction



Awarded in case of

Short-term detention: The period of release does not count towards the total period of the sentence. Long-term detention: The period of release is counted towards the total period of the sentence.


Lasts for one month. Lasts for a maximum of 14 days.


It is not seen as a matter of right.

It is given to a prisoner for a specific reason (E.g. death in the family).

It is seen as a matter of right for prisoners to be granted periodically.

It can be granted without any reason.

Granting Authority

Divisional Commissioner Deputy Inspector General of Prisons

Declining request

It is granted at the request of the prisoner and can be denied. Generally, not denied as it is a right of the prisoner.


It can be granted multiple times. It can be given for limited time.
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