What kind of money are California parolees entitled to?
The short answer is: it depends. But, in general, here’s what you can get…
Obviously, you can keep the money you have earned or were given while in prison. All money in your trust fund is yours to take home.
You are also usually entitled to $200 when you are released. But there can be conditions on this. First of all, it’s up to your parole officer to distribute this money however he/she feels fit. But most of the time you will get at minimum between $50—$100 at the gate. Sometimes the whole $200. But your parole officer can pay you the money in installments of 60 days. (Note: If you violated your parole prior to your release, you may not be entitled to the whole $200, but even in that case, you are entitled to a percentage of it. Also, if you are released into a reentry facility, you may only be entitled to half the money. )
An important thing to know is if a friend or family member can’t pick you up at the gate, you have to pay for your own bus fare and street clothes.
If you basically have no money at all and no family or friends to help, you can get “cash assistance funds” from the California Department of Corrections, which is a small loan, usually under $50. Though it may be possible to get a little more than that if the parole agent’s supervisor approves it. You can also sometimes get a loan of $500 for purchases made over-the–counter. But all these loans, of course, must be paid back and just as importantly, whether or not you get them is largely up to the discretion of your parole officer.
Finally, you should ask your parole officer about other moneys, loans, services, job training, etc that you may be entitled to.