How Do I Get My California Parole Discharge Papers?

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According to California law, when you've finished your specified term of parole, you're entitled to a copy of the paperwork stating that you have successfully completed it. Your parole officer is supposed to give the paperwork to you, however, like any government bureaucracy, delays happen and/or things get lost.

According to California law, when you've finished your specified term of parole, you're entitled to a copy of the paperwork stating that you have successfully completed it. Your parole officer is supposed to give the paperwork to you, however, like any government bureaucracy, delays happen and/or things get lost. It is important that you have these discharge papers, also called a "discharge card" or "discharge certificate," to prove that you've served all of your time and are free to travel or perform other activities that you may have been restricted from doing while on parole.

Know the law. Under California Penal Code Section 3001, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when any person...has been released on parole from the state prison...and has been on parole continuously for [a certain number of years], the board shall discharge [within a certain amount of days] the person from parole, unless the board, for good cause, determines that the person will be retained on parole. The board shall make a written record of its determination and the department shall transmit a copy thereof to the parolee."

Familiarize yourself with what your discharge papers look like. You might already have received it from your parole officer or in the mail. Look at any paperwork you received from your parole officer of the California Department of Corrections during the course of your parole. It will say "CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION CERTIFICATE OF DISCHARGE" on it.

Contact your parole officer. The parole officer should have received your discharge papers from the parole department and is supposed to provide you with these when your parole is completed.

Call the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) in the region where you served your parole if you didn't receive your discharge papers from your parole officer or have lost them. Look at the DAPO map to find your region, which will lead you to the appropriate phone number for your specific city or county.

Write to the California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation and request a copy of your discharge papers at this address: CDCR RECORDS, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, CA 94283.

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About the Author

Kathlyn Hyatt Stewart began writing for sociological abstracts in 1985 and had her first article published by "Cambridge Scientific Abstracts," where she was Senior Editor. She has copyedited numerous books and dissertations, proofread for ezines and local papers, and operates Gargoyle Books. Kathlyn has a master's degree in forensic science from National University and bachelor's degrees in English and psychology from University of Virginia.