Parole Board Hearings and Reviews
Parole Revocation Hearings
Mandatory Reentry Supervision (MRS)
Parole Board Hearings and Reviews
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 the hearing. 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.
The Parole Board is provided with a victim notification form which can be submitted to our office by Probation and Parole at the time of sentencing for all offenders convicted of Class A, B or C felonies. Victim information may also be provided by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney or directly from the victim. NOTE: Pursuant to KRS 439.340(7), notifications to victims of Class D felonies are not mandated. However, victim impact statements are accepted and victim hearings will be scheduled for Class D felony cases per request of victim. We also recommend that victims register with VINE at 1-800-511-1670.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
in order to verify your registration with victim services.
Parole Revocation Hearings
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.
Mandatory Reentry Supervision (MRS)
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.
Postincarceration Supervision (PS)
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.