Probation and Parole System in Pakistan


When a criminal commits an offense, there are two ways to treat him. One method is to punish him while the other method is to rehabilitate him using specific techniques. These are Probation and Parole respectively.

Probation and Parole are two techniques that are used to rehabilitate the offenders. In these techniques, the offenders are released from prison on some justified grounds. However, there are some differences between these two techniques.


According to Wikipedia

“Probation is a period of supervision over an offender that is ordered by the court instead of serving time in prison.”

According to Black’s Law Dictionary

“Parole is the release of a prisoner from imprisonment before the full sentence has been served.”

1. Probation

Probation is granted to the offender at trial by the judge in lieu of jail time or in combination with some jail time. The judge also imposes some restrictions on the offender during the probationary period. The judge may impose a Probation Officer for his supervision.

Probation of Offenders Ordinance 1960 says that “Probation is the termination of sentence of imprisonment or the postponement of final judgment in a court.”

In other words, probation is a warning that is given by the judge to the offender so that he may not behave in a non-serious manner in the future. This gives an opportunity to the criminal to reform himself/herself within due time.

According to Section 3 of the Ordinance 1960, the following courts are given the power to exercise probation.

  1. High Court
  2. Session Court
  3. Judicial Magistrate

Probation allows the offenders to stay outside the jail and in their own society for a specified time. A Probation Officer is imposed upon him for his supervision.

Objectives of Probation

Probation is granted to the offenders;

  • To promote the supremacy of law
  • To stop the conversion of juvenile offenders into professional criminals
  • To give the offender an opportunity to reform himself according to his own will
  • To make the offender a responsible man in society.

Who can enjoy Probation

Probation is not awarded to;

  • Those criminals that have given false evidence
  • Habitual and Professional offenders
  • Sexual Offenders
  • Convicts having fixed sentences
  • House breakers at night
  • Robbers and Dacoit

Necessary factors for Probation

These points must be kept in mind at the time of the release of an offender on Probation

  • Type of the offense committed
  • Age of the Offender
  • Gender of the offender
  • The behavior of the offender at the time of FIR and Trial
  • Is Mens Rea involved or not?
  • Is he/she a first-time offender?
  • Is the offender deprived or not?

Read More: Criminal Justice System of Pakistan

2. Parole

Parole is the early release of the offender from the prison that is based on conditions. The conditions are imposed on the offender by the Judge or some other superior authority.

Parole allows the offender to return to his community under certain terms and conditions under the supervision of a Parole Agent. The violation of the terms may result in the re-imprisonment of the offender.

Parole is granted only by a Commission Board.

Objectives of Parole

The objectives of parole are the following

  • The released offenders must not commit new crimes or repeat the same
  • The decision of Parole Boards should be appreciated
  • The released offender must not be involved in violent matters
  • To release the criminals on proper time from the prison

Necessary factors for Parole

The following points must be kept in mind by the Parole Board while releasing the offender on parole;

  • What was his attitude in the prison
  • What was his appearance before the Parole Board
  • Whether he can get a suitable job after the release
  • Whether he has a shelter to live in after release
  • Is there any chance of his rehabilitation 
  • The severity of his crime

Difference between Probation and Parole

  • Probation is given by the Judiciary but Parole is recognized by the Executives.
  • In Probation, the sentence is suspended and the decision is postponed but Parole is given to a prisoner who has completed mandatory imprisonment.
  • The Judiciary is responsible for probation but the Executive is responsible for parole.

Mission of Probation and Parole

The mission of probation and parole is to rehabilitate the offenders on community-based corrections to promote peace and social justice.

Function of Probation and Parole

The main purpose of The Probation of Offenders Ordinance, introduced in Pakistan in 1960, was to release the offenders in lieu of imprisonment. The offender will be released under the supervision of a Probation Officer.

Parole and probation offices promote the correction and rehabilitation of criminal offenders.


It is concluded that Probation is a decision that is given by a Judge at the Trial Stage. In Probation, a convicted person can live in society for a particular period.

However, Parole is the release of a prisoner before the ending of his/her sentence.

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