Topic: Parole and Probation
If an individual on supervision in Pennsylvania commits a new criminal offense, or violates a condition of supervision, that person is subject to further potential penalties. "Supervision" in this context refers to those on probation or parole. One possibility is the imposition of a detainer to hold the person in prison until the underlying violation is resolved.
For this reason, it is vitally important for a parolee or probationer to understand what he or she is up against. The violation of probation or parole will be resolved during what is known as a "Gagnon II" hearing. The term Gagnon dates back to United States Supreme Court decision, Gagnon v. Scarpelli, establishing the due process rights of probationers and parolees.
A Gagnon II hearing is subject to different rules of evidence and procedure than a criminal trial. Parolees and probationers are accorded less due process rights than an offender non on supervision. But there are still safeguards for the probationer or parolee.
There is a major difference between the sanctions that can be imposed on a parolee versus a probationer. During a probation violation hearing, the sentencing judge can impose another period of probation or impose a sentence of imprisonment upon the violator. This is different than a parole violation scenario, where the judge cannot change the terms of the underlying sentence, but can order an offender to serve the balance of the original sentence.