Parole is a system of conditional release of a prisoner for a set period of time subject to behaviour and requires periodic reporting to the authorities.
How Parole is different from furlough?
Furlough is given in case of long-term imprisonment. A prisoner is entitled to be released on furlough for 14 days in a year. Both Parole and Furlough were introduced to humanise the prison system.
Furlough is a matter of right, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason. It enables the prisoner to retain family and social ties. But parole is not a matter of right. It may be denied to a prisoner even when the prisoner makes out a sufficient case.
Provisions in India
Parole and furlough are covered under the Prison Act of 1894. Since prison is a state subject the Prison Act of the particular state defines the rules under which parole is granted.
Whenever a prisoner makes an application for parole, the jail authorities submit the report to the state government. The Competent authorities take a final decision on grant of parole on humanitarian considerations. The convict can move to the High Court if the competent authority rejects the parole application. In emergency cases, the superintendent of jail can grant parole up to a period of seven days.