What was started in California is now causing a sweeping movement across the rest of the country. A parole bond is a set amount of money or property that is paid to the government as a guarantee that that the paroled prisoner will not violate any of the terms and conditions of his or her release. The prisoner has three options for paying the bail amount. He or she can either pay the bail amount himself or herself, he or she can borrow from a friend or family member, or they can choose to seek out a bail bondsman and enlist their help for a fee.
Part of the idea behind a parole bond is that the individuals who are asked to put up the money or cosign the loan on the prisoners behalf have more incentive to verify that the parolee does not represent an unacceptably high risk before agreeing to help with his or her release. The friend or family member who offered up the bail amount also has incentive to help the parolee stay out of trouble after his or her release.
On the other side of it, the prisoner has incentive to be on his or her best behavior during their time of incarceration. By doing so, the prisoner demonstrates that he or she has been reformed and no longer poses as a risk to violating the terms of their parole. If the prisoner is released on parole and they violate any of the terms of their release, the parole bond will be forfeited.
Parole bonds are also sometimes a way for the government to relieve over crowded prisons. Just like with regular bail bonds, there are statutes in place that allow the bail bondsmen to get back all or a portion of their bail bonds by returning the parolee into police custody. Most often, this is done through the help of a hired bounty hunter.