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It is common for the general public to misunderstand the terms probation and parole. Probation and parole are two different concepts but are based on the same concept. Probation is an optional sentence a judge may assign, and rather than the person going to jail, they are sentenced to probation. Probation is usually assigned in cases involving misdemeanors or first-time, nonviolent offenders. If a defendant is sentenced to probation, they could be required to do a drug test, pay several fines and court costs, and perform community service, counseling and more. On the other hand, parole occurs once a defendant has already served some time in a correctional facility and requests an early release dependent upon certain conditions that must be met in order for them to remain out of prison. If these conditions aren’t followed, the defendant’s parole could be revoked and they could go back to prison. Just like probation, if the terms of parole are completed successfully, the case is terminated.