Ask the County Law Librarian – Parole Records in California
Q. How would I find out the parole status of a person in Riverside County? They were recently put on parole after violating probation a number of times.
A. It depends on what you mean by “status,” but there are resources that might help answer your question. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has some helpful web pages on the parole process in California, including the Parolee Information Handbook. This handbook includes descriptions of parole conditions or requirements (page 9) and common parole definitions (page 8). For example, the conditions of parole are written rules the parolee must follow. When one’s conditions and parole period (time one must spend on parole) have been satisfied, one is discharged from parole. All parolees in California have an identifying CDCR number that can be searched in private (law enforcement personnel only) and public databases.
So, what segments of a parolee’s record are public information? Very few, as it turns out. A person’s parole conditions and parole period are confidential and can be accessed by only the parolee and his or her parole agent; this type of information usually cannot be found in the public record. What can be found in the public record is the following data: the parolee’s full name, CDCR number, prison, and, depending on the jurisdiction, case records that may contain pertinent charging and sentencing information. You can find a person’s CDCR number or full name through the Inmate Locator.
Depending on the county, your local courthouse may be able to provide more information in the form of criminal records, case documents, or a brief case history. Sacramento County, for example, offers a case index that, upon entering a person’s name, provides a skeletal history of each case that person was involved in, including charges, pleas, hearings, and the sentence. Local services will vary from county to county, so be sure to consult your local superior court for more information. You can also try contracting the local parole unit if you know the area in which the parolee was sentenced. And, for more information on obtaining criminal records in California, see Ask the County Law Librarian- Criminal Background Checks.
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