Types of Release


"Parole" means the release of a prisoner to the community by the Board of Parole (BOP) prior to the expiration of the offender's sentence.  Release is subject to conditions imposed by the BOP and supervision is provided by the Department of Correction.

Offenders that are granted parole may have pre-parole conditions that must be successfully completed before release to parole supervision.  Examples of pre-parole conditions include, but are not limited to, attending and completing various classes such as pro-social life skills, group therapy, or therapeutic community.  Parolees may also be given post-parole special conditions they must abide by as part of parole supervision.  Examples of post-parole special conditions include, but are not limited to, release to a halfway house only or substance use assessment.  Sex offenders on parole are subject to the specialized conditions for sex offenders.

Offenders granted parole are not released from prison until a release plan has been approved by a probation parole office.  A release plan identifies where the parolee will live and work upon release from prison.


"Probation" means the release by a court of a person found guilty of a crime without imprisonment, subject to conditions imposed by the court and subject to the supervision of the Department of Correction.  Probationers may be placed on probation as part of a split confinement, where they must spend some time in jail before being released to probation, or they may be sentenced to probation directly. 

Probationers must report to the probation parole officer within 48 hours of being placed on probation or upon release from a split confinement sentence.  All probationers are required to follow the terms and conditions of probation as listed on the probation order.  Sex offenders on probation may be subject to the specialized conditions for sex offenders.  Courts may also order an offender to complete special conditions.

Determinate Release

Determinate release is a special type of probation.  Offenders are subject to follow the rules and conditions established on their determinate release certificate.  The Department of Correction issues all determinate release certificates.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-501, offenders with felony sentences of at least one year, but not more than two years, are eligible for determinate release probation.  To qualify, offenders must have served at least 30 percent of their sentence. 

Prior to being released, state law requires that the district attorney, sheriff and warden of the prison where the offender is held be notified that the offender is eligible for release.  If there are objections to the offender's release, an objection petition must be filed with the sentencing court.

Community Corrections

The Community Corrections Program was created by statute in 1985 and allows sentencing of non-violent felony offenders to community-based alternatives to incarceration in order to reserve confinement for violent offenders.  The goal of the program is to reduce the probability of continued criminal behavior while maintaining the safety of the community.

The Community Corrections Program allows taxpayers dollars to be diverted from the high costs of incarceration for non-violent offenders. The state contracts with local governments and qualified private agencies to develop a range of front-end community based supervision and resource services for eligible offenders.  Community Corrections offers local courts increased sentencing options, assists victims and provides public service to local government.

There are 19 contract programs operating in Tennessee: six non-profit agencies, six human resource agencies and seven county programs. Within the 19 programs, there are three residential programs (two for men and one for women) and three day reporting centers. To find a local office serving your area, view our directory of agencies.

To view our current applications, visit Grant Applications.