Probation and Parole are both types of community supervision. Jurisdiction over probation belongs to the sentencing Court. Jurisdiction over parole belongs to the Board of Parole (BOP). The Department of Correction (a separate agency from BOP) provides the supervision for both probationers and parolees in the community. Convicted offenders may either be released on probation by the Court; or sentenced to serve time in a jail or prison and subsequently become eligible to be released on parole by the Board. The initial decision about sentencing all offenders is made by a Judge, in compliance with the laws of the State of Tennessee. Decisions to issue a warrant, revoke or reinstate the community supervision status, are made about probationers by the Court, and about parolees by the Board. While on probation or parole, offenders must generally reside in a certain location, be employed and obey particular rules called "conditions". The offender being supervised is to report to, accept advice and instructions from, and maintain contact with a TDOC Probation/Parole Officer.
Probationers who have been released but who violate the conditions, must go back to the sentencing Judge, who may decide to revoke the probation status and send the offender to prison to serve the full suspended sentence, with no credit given for time on probation. If successful on probation, offenders must continue reporting to the P/P Officer until the Judge releases them from the obligation.
Parolees must have served at least the amount of penal time required by a given sentence, been certified as eligible by the Tennessee Department of Correction for a hearing, and been scheduled for a hearing before the Board. Some offenders are granted release to serve the balance of an indeterminate or unexpired sentence under supervision, while others are not approved for parole release. Parolees are subject to having parole revoked and being returned to prison to finish their sentences, if they violate conditions.