When the long anticipated day arrives, the inmate has either reached the end date on their determinate sentence, or a State Official gives approval for release on an indeterminate sentence. There are likely two scenarios when the inmate is released:
1. The inmate is reunited with his/her family and resumes residence/lives with the family.
2. The inmate moves to a halfway house or establishes a different residence away from his/her family.
In the 1st scenario, both the inmate and the family have likely been planning for the arrival. This event is often met with mixed emotions. There may be anticipation that everything will be ‘solved’ once the parent is home. There may be immediate pressure placed on the parent to bridge the financial and emotional space they filled prior to incarceration. Sometimes a fantasy exists that all problems will go away now that the parent is back in the home. However, this is often not the case. It generally takes time to heal and reacclimate the parent back into the home. The criminal record may make it difficult for the parent to find a job. Emotionally, everyone in the home (including the newly released parent) has been through a traumatic event that may have spanned years if not decades. It will take some time regain a sense of normalcy. Setting these expectations clearly with everyone in the home will help make an easier transition for everyone involved, especially the child.
In the 2nd scenario, there is an adjustment period for the newly released parent as well as the family/child. If they child has not had previous contact with the inmate, decisions will likely need to be made again, about whether or not the child should have contact. Of course each case is unique and the totality of the circumstances will help dictate the decisions.
When an inmate has completed their sentence, they are released to either a state-supervised parole or county-level supervision, which is determined by the Oregon Penal Code. Currently, the law requires that Parolees return to the county that was their last legal residence.
After being released, a state-supervised parolee will be assigned a Parole Agent who will monitor the behavior and activity of the parolee. The behavior of the Parolee will determine the recommendation of release from parole supervision.
If the conditions of the parole are violated, the Parole Agent can recommend the Parolee be returned into custody/incarceration. A Revocation Hearing will then be conducted to determine if a violation has occurred.
Lastly, for sentences of Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole, the parent will never come home and a child will then lose their incarcerated parent to death while in prison.