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Parole Board


An inmate’s initial parole eligibility date is calculated by the Department of Corrections Office of Offender Information Services, based on applicable statutes and regulations governing parole eligibility. After an inmate’s initial parole review, any subsequent review is at the discretion of the Parole Board, subject to certain limits on the length of deferments set forth in KRS 439.340(14)​.

Parole is a privilege and eligibility for parole in no way guarantees that an inmate will be recommended for parole.​

The Parole Board utilizes evidence- based practices and considers a number of factors, including:
  • The seriousness of the offense.
  • Prior criminal record
  • History of parole and probation violations
  • Input from victims and others who have been affected by the crime including oral and written
  • Institutional conduct, participation in rehabilitation programs and relevant psychological evaluations.
  • History of alcohol and drug involvement
  • An evaluation of community resources available to help the offender reentry society
  • Assessment tools
  • Statements from the sentencing judge and prosecuting attorney
  • Attitude toward authority
  • History of deviant behavior
  • Education and job skills
  • Health or illness
  • Other pertinent information​
Once the Parole Board has conducted a parole release hearing or file review, it has the following choices:
  • Parole, which means a decision of the Parole Board to recommend the release of an inmate to community supervision prior to the expiration of the inmate’s sentence, subject to conditions of supervision imposed by the Parole Board and the supervising Parole Officer. Whenever the Parole Board decides to grant parole contingent upon the completion of a program pursuant to KRS 439.340(13)​, it is the Department of Corrections' responsibility to determine the appropriate placement of the inmate in a program operated by the Department or a residential or nonresidential program within the community approved by the Department.
  • Deferment, which means the Parole Board sets a specific number of months for an inmate to serve before further parole considerations
  • Serve Out, which means a decision of the Parole Board that an inmate must serve until the completion of his sentence​

  • Since parole board hearings and file reviews are conducted in advance of an inmate’s parole eligibility date, the Department of Corrections must wait until at least the inmate’s parole eligibility date before releasing the inmate to parole supervision. In all cases, the inmate’s home and job placement must also be verified and approved by the Department of Corrections before they are released. Whenever the Parole Board recommends parole contingent upon the completion of a program pursuant to KRS 439.340(13)​, the Department of Corrections must decide whether to require the inmate to complete the program in the institution or whether the inmate may be placed in the community to complete the program.​

    The Board conducts the majority of face-to-face hearings via video conferencing with some exceptions. In these exceptions, the Board travels to the various institutions across the state to conduct hearings.
    Inmates convicted of Class D felonies and those convicted of Class C felonies that are not defined as violent or sex offenses do not participate in a face-to-face hearing. Instead, a decision is made via file review.​

    Only inmates may participate in parole hearings. Those who desire to show their support for a inmate, may do so through written correspondence to the Parole Board. The correspondence is placed in the inmate’s file and available to the Board.​

    Parole Board hearings are open meetings, however, for security reasons the Parole Board cannot arrange for friends and family members to attend hearings. These arrangements must be made through the Warden’s office of the institution where the inmate is housed. Deliberations of the Parole Board are closed to the public.​

    Any inmate scheduled to be considered for the privilege of parole by file review is encouraged to participate and be heard during this process by submitting relevant information to the Board in writing. In order for information to be included in the inmate file in time for the Board’s file review, the inmate should submit the written information prior to the first day of the month in which the inmate’s file review is scheduled.
  • Face-to-face hearing: The Parole Board decision is normally given to the inmate verbally by Board Members and in writing at the conclusion of the hearing. If the decision is not reached at the face-to-face hearing, the decision is mailed to the inmate, which may take several days.
  • File Review: After a file review is completed by the Parole Board, the decision is entered and a copy of the decision is then sent to the jail or institution where the inmate is being housed. Jail or institutional staff members are responsible for providing the inmate with notice of the Parole Board’s decision.
  • Parole Board decisions are not released to the public until after notice has been sent to inmates.​
    • Inmates have the opportunity to ask the Parole Board to reconsider an adverse parole decision within 21 days of receiving their decision. Only inmates or their legal representative may ask for reconsideration, and they must do so in writing. The decision whether to reconsider a decision is exclusively within the Parole Board’s discretion. There are only three reasons the Parole Board may exercise its discretion to reconsider a decision. These are:
    • Misconduct by a board member that is substantiated by the record
    • Significant procedural error by a board member
    • Significant new evidence that was not available at the hearing​

    The Parole Board’s schedule is prepared several weeks in advance. The actual date of the inmate’s hearing is not determined until the schedule is prepared. Once the schedule has been prepared, it is posted at the institutions and on the Parole Board’s website.

    Any members of the public with a desire to attend an inmate’s parole board hearing should contact the Warden’s office at the facility where the inmate is housed and request to attend.

    Depending on the circumstances, the supervising Parole Officer may be authorized to impose administrative sanctions pursuant to the Department of Corrections’ Graduated Sanctions and Discretionary Detention Policy (CPP 27-15-03​). Otherwise, the Parole Officer may initiate revocation proceedings by serving the parolee and the Parole Board with a written Notice of Preliminary Hearing (NOPH) setting forth the charges and advising the parolee of the scheduled time and place for the preliminary hearing.

    An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will conduct a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the parolee has violated the terms and conditions of parole. Evidence is heard and witnesses are questioned. The parolee has a right to legal representation at the preliminary hearing.
    Following the hearing, the ALJ prepares a written decision setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law.
    If the ALJ finds that probable cause exists of the occurrence of a parole violation parolee is referred to the Parole Board for the scheduling of a final parole revocation hearing.
    If the ALJ finds that probable cause was not established, the ALJ’s written decision is forwarded to the supervising Parole Officer for the parolee’s release back to supervision.
    At the final parole revocation hearing, the charges are read and explained, and the offender is given the opportunity to admit or deny the charges and address any other issues relating to the charged violations or mitigating circumstances.
    The evidence at a final parole revocation hearing is limited to the record made before the Administrative Law Judge at the preliminary revocation hearing, except that the Parole Board, in its discretion, may consider any new or different evidence submitted by the parolee in writing in advance of the final revocation hearing. In addition, an offender who has admitted the violations and waived the preliminary hearing may submit mitigating evidence, in writing, at or before the final hearing. No other evidence may be presented at the final revocation hearing unless the Parole Board, in its discretion grants an offender’s request for a special hearing to present new evidence that could not have been presented at the preliminary revocation hearing.
    After conducting the final revocation hearing, the Parole Board must determine whether or not to revoke the offender’s parole due to violation of one or more conditions of parole supervision.
    If the Board decides to revoke the offender’s parole, the Parole Board must then decide whether to reincarcerate the offender and establish a date for further review if applicable or reinstate the offender to parole supervision.
    MRS is the statutorily mandated release to community supervision of any inmate who is not excluded from MRS eligibility under KRS 439.3406(2)(a)-(f)​ and who has not been granted discretionary parole six (6) months prior to the projected completion date of the inmate’s sentence.

    Sex offenders convicted of sex offenses identified under KRS 532.043(1) are subject to a five (5) year period of Postincarceration Supervision following their release from incarceration upon expiration of their sentences or completion of parole.
    Other offenders who are eligible for parole by statute, do not have a maximum or close security classification as defined under Department of Corrections regulations, and have not been convicted of a capital offense or Class A felony are subject to a one (1) year period of Postincarceration Supervision pursuant to KRS 532.400​ following their release from incarceration upon expiration of their sentences or completion of parole.

    Victim Services FAQ

    The sentence imposed by the court represents the maximum amount of time the offender will be under the jurisdiction of the correctional system. Statutes and regulations outline a mathematical formula (which includes credits for jail time) to determine the initial parole eligibility date.
    The Parole Board is provided with a victim notification form which is submitted by Probation and Parole at the time of sentencing for all offenders convicted of Class A, B or C felonies. Information may also be provided by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney or directly from the victim. Pursuant to KRS 439.340(7)​, notifications to victims of Class D felonies are not mandated. We also recommend that victims register with VINE at 1-800-511-1670.

    A Victim Hearing is between victims and Parole Board members. A Parole Hearing involves the inmate and Parole Board members. The Victim Hearing is scheduled prior to the Parole Hearing.
    The Parole Board has up to three options:
    • Parole – All inmates who are eligible to meet the Board are eligible to be recommended for Parole. Prior to their release they must have an approved home placement and have completed any programs required by the Board. Once released into the community, they will be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.
    • Deferment – The inmate will remain incarcerated and a future date is established for another parole hearing. The maximum deferment for a prisoner convicted of a non-violent, non-sexual Class C or Class D felony shall be 24 months. For all other prisoners, no deferment greater than five years shall be ordered unless approved by a majority vote of the full Board; and no deferment shall exceed 10 years, except for life sentences (KRS 439.340(14)​).
    • Serve Out – The inmate is required to serve the sentence imposed by the Court, minus any statutory time and other credits received. There are no future parole hearings for those who are served out and the offender is released without supervision.
    NOTE: Any inmate eligible for Mandatory Reentry Supervision (MRS) will be released on their MRS date regardless of any decision rendered by the Parole Board.

    Inmates who are within eight (8) months of the Minimum Expiration Date will be released on mandatory reentry supervision (MRS) for the last eight months of their sentence. Inmates who meet any one of the following criteria will NOT be released on MRS. (KRS 439.3406​)
    • ​Is not eligible for parole by statute.
    • Has been convicted of a capital offense or a Class A felony.
    • Has a maximum or close security classification as defined by administrative regulations.
    • Has been sentenced to two years or less of incarceration.
    • Is subject to ‘post incarceration supervision’.
    • Has less than six months to serve.

    The Parole Board considers a number of factors, including but not limited to:
    • The nature of the offense.
    • Any prior juvenile, misdemeanor or felony convictions.
    • Input from victims and others who have been affected by the crime.
    • Probation and parole history.
    • Institutional conduct, rehabilitation programs and psychological evaluations.
    • Statements from the Sentencing Judge and Prosecuting Attorney.
    • Parole Guidelines Risk Assessment.
    • Community resources available to help the offender re-enter society.​

    There are standard conditions that are imposed on all offenders on supervision and the Parole Board can stipulate additional special conditions that apply to a specific offender, including but not limited to the following:
    • ​No contact with victim and/or victim families.
    • Must stay out of a specific county while on parole.
    • Must complete a substance abuse program prior to release.

    Yes, however, individuals attending parole hearings may observe only. Persons who wish to attend an inmate’s face-to-face hearing must contact the institution where the inmate is housed and make their request seven days prior to the hearing date.

    NOTE: Inmates serving on Class A and B felonies have a face-to-face hearing with the Board members. Inmates serving on Class C, non-violent and nonsexual felonies, and all inmates serving on Class D felonies receive a file review and do not meet with the Parole Board face-to-face. In lieu of attending the inmate hearing, recordings of face-to-face hearings are available on CD by submitting a request to the Parole Board and enclosing a check or money order in the amount of $2 made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
    A non-violent offender is eligible for an INITIAL parole hearing after serving either 15% or 20% of their total sentence, minus any jail credit they receive (KRS 439.340(3)(a)​).

    Inmates convicted of a sex crime (as defined by KRS 17.5500(8)​) after July 15, 1998 must reach their initial parole eligibility date. In addition, they must have completed the Sex offender Treatment Program (SOTP). Offenders who were convicted of a sex crime prior to July 15, 1998 must reach their initial eligibility date and have either applied to SOTP and been denied; applied, accepted, enrolled and terminated from SOTP; or, applied and completed SOTP.

    NOTE: Inmates released by parole or by reaching their minimum expiration date will be released on Sex Offender Conditional Discharge (SOCD). Inmates serving on a sex crime committed on or after July 12, 2006 will serve five years on SOCD. If the crime was committed between 7/14/00 and 7/11/06, the SOCD will be for three years. For crimes committed between 7/15/98 and 7/13/00, SOCD must be stipulated in the judgment and should be for three years. Any inmate who violates the conditions of the SOCD will be required to meet the Parole Board for a revocation hearing. These offenders will be required to serve out any time remaining. You may access the Sex Offender Registry at

    Pursuant to KRS 439.340(4)​, the Board shall ensure that all sentenced felons with longer than 90 days to serve in state penal institutions, halfway houses, and county jails are considered for parole not less than 60 days prior to their parole eligibility date. However, they may no​​t be released on Parole prior to their eligibility month.

    Only if the inmate meets the requirements of an Early Medical Consideration as defined by KRS 439.3405​. The Department of Corrections must refer these cases to the Parole Board.

    Yes, the Board may reconsider a case. All inmates have 21 days from the date of the decision to request a reconsideration of their decision. Also, the Chairperson of the Parole Board can request the full Board to reconsider a case. Lastly, pursuant to HB 463, the Board shall reconsider the parole of any prisoner who was given a deferment or serve out of longer than 60 months at the prisoner’s most recent parole hearing; however, no reconsideration shall be required if the deferment or serve out was approved by a majority vote of the full Board, or the prisoner stands convicted of a violent offense in KRS 439.3401 or as a sex crime in KRS 17.500​, regardless of the date the crime was committed or the date of conviction.

    The authority to violate an offender lies with the Division of Probation and Parole (P&P). However, once a parolee has been violated by P&P and after due process, the Parole Board has the authority to revoke said parole, reinstate it, defer or serve out the offender.
    Through an automated statewide victim notification system called VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), inmate information can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through computer generated telephone calls, registered victims are contacted at a predetermined telephone number when an inmate is scheduled for release, a parole hearing or if an inmate escapes. However, the system will not call you if an inmate is transferred to another prison as this is not considered a release. Victims may also be notified of an inmate’s release by requesting notification in writing to:

    Department of Corrections
    Office of Victim Services
    P.O. Box 2400
    Frankfort, Kentucky 40602-2400
    Limited information (name, inmate ID, institution and offense) can by found on the Kentucky Offender Online Lookup (KOOL) at www.correc​

    Yes, VINE will automatically notify you when an offender is released, escapes or has an upcoming parole hearing. If you are a victim of the crime the inmate is serving on, you should contact the Division of Parole and Victims Services at 800-221-5991 (toll free) or in order to verify your registration with victim services.