Although parole and probation are terms often used interchangeably, there are differences between the two. Parole refers to the time period after a person has been released from prison, but is still under court supervision. Probation refers to a sentence wherein a person is under the supervision of the court but did not necessarily serve time in prison. Both a term of parole and a term of probation generally require that a person remain free of trouble for the duration. There may be additional obligations or conditions specific to that persons sentence, like checking in regularly with an official or completing drug tests. These conditions may differ from state to state. In this section, you will find information about issues surrounding parole and probation.