One of the most interesting things in this book is the description of what being on parole means. I didn’t know that a parolee had to go through so much: regular drug tests, house search, interviews… Upon release, the parolee goes to a parole office and is assigned a parole officer. Parole officers make unannounced visits to parolees’ houses or apartments to check on them. During these home visits officers look for signs of drug or alcohol use, guns or illegal weapons, and other illegal activities. Should parolees start to use drugs or alcohol, they are told to go to drug or alcohol counseling and NA or AA meetings. Should they not comply with conditions on the parole certificate a warrant is issued for their arrest. Their parole time is stopped when the warrant is issued and starts only after they are arrested. They have a parole violation hearing within a specified time, and then a decision is made by the parole board to revoke their parole or continue the parolee on parole. In some cases, a parolee may be discharged from parole before the time called for in the original sentence if it is determined that the parole restrictions are no longer necessary for the protection of society.
Another element that is continuously referred to in the novel is Torrey’s car, which is a firebird. The Pontiac Firebird is an automobile that was built by Pontiac from the 1967 to the 2002 model years.