What is the difference between Parole and Indeterminate Sentence?

Difference between Parole and Indeterminate Sentence:

Parole is closely linked with the system of indeterminate sentence under which instead of being compelled to serve a definite term of sentence, the offender is sentenced to a minimum and a maximum period of sentence and after he has finished the minimum term, usually one-third of the maximum prescribed, he is set at liberty with or without conditions. It therefore, follows that the system of parole cannot function successfully without having indeterminate sentence.

This does not, however, mean that these two systems are identical. Indeterminate sentence carries with it an element of uncertainty about the exact period of sentence which in itself is a great punishment to the offender; while on the other hand, the system of parole serves a kind of pre-intimation to the parolee that he is nearing his final discharge.


Again, in case of indeterminate sentence no specific period of sentence is ever laid down whereas the convicted prisoner who is released on parole is always initially committed to a definite term of sentence and while undergoing the punishment, if he is considered fit for release on parole, he is so released for the remaining portion of his sentence as a parolee.

It is significant to note that grant of parole is a quasi-judicial function performed by the Parole-Board. Before allowing a prisoner to be released on parole, the Parole Board has to ensure that the parolee has a suitable abode to live in and a satisfactory job to do. The Parole Officer has also to undertake a pre-parole orientation programme for the prisoner and make sure that he is well prepared to adjust himself to normal life and at the same time the conditions outside the institution are conducive to the development of his personality.