A parole-eligible inmate serving a felony sentence in the custody of the Department of Corrections is automatically considered for parole. No application is necessary.
The following categories of inmates are not eligible for parole:
Inmates serving non-life sentences for a serious violent felony (rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, armed robbery, or kidnapping), with a crime commit date on/after January 1, 1995 (ineligible for parole consideration due to SB 441).
Inmates convicted of a fourth or more felony, and sentenced as a recidivist,
Inmates sentenced to life without parole.
Most parole-eligible inmates are statutorily eligible for parole after serving one-third of their prison sentence. However, few inmates are granted parole at their initial eligibility date.Eligible inmates are automatically considered for parole, regardless of appeals or other legal action by the inmate or his or her representative.
A decision to grant any type of clemency requires an affirmative vote by a majority of the members of the Parole Board. Excluding life sentences, at the time of consideration, the Board will establish a Tentative Parole Month (TPM) in the future or will deny parole entirely. The Board may reconsider and change a prior decision in a case, for any reason, at any time, up to the date of release. Georgia inmates (who are eligible for parole) have a right to be considered for parole, but they do not have a right or "liberty interest" which requires release on parole.
A TPM is not a final release decision. At the TPM, the Board will complete a final review of the offender’s case file and determine whether to set a parole release date.
Life Sentence Parole Considerations (sentenced to life with parole eligibility)
Life sentenced inmates are considered when they become eligible under Georgia law (see below, State Law and Life Sentences). Unlike other offenders, the Board’s guidelines are not used and a TPM is not the result of the Board’s decision. The Board’s decision is either to grant or deny parole. A life sentenced inmate receiving a “grant” parole decision may be required to complete a Department of Corrections’ work release program as a precondition to parole.
If parole is denied to a life sentenced inmate, the Board, by policy, will reconsider the case again at least once every eight years. The duration between considerations is a decision made by the Board.
Life sentenced inmates who have been denied parole and have a scheduled reconsideration date may receive expedited parole reviews if the Board receives new information that warrants an earlier review.
State Law and Life Sentences
Since 1995, there have been two statutory changes pertaining to serious violent felonies that determine parole eligibility for a life sentenced offender. If a crime considered to be a "seven deadly sin" was committed prior to 1995, the offender is eligible after seven years. In 1995, offenders committing these crimes became eligible after serving fourteen years. If the crime is committed on/after July 1, 2006, the offender is eligible for parole after serving thirty years.
Attorney's services are not requiredfor Clemency Consideration
Representation by an attorney is not required for any type of clemency consideration. The decision whether to employ an attorney is a personal decision of the offender or those acting in his or her behalf. Only licensed attorneys who are active members, in good standing, of the State Bar of Georgia, may appear before the Board and charge a fee from theperson he/she is representing. The Board may require an attorney representing a person before the Board to file a sworn statement as to whether he or she is receiving a fee.
Pre-Parole Investigations Start the Process
Before the Board considers an inmate for parole, it conducts investigations on the inmate, which are used to create a file on the inmate.Parole Board files are separate and distinct from files maintained by the Department of Corrections.
First, a Parole Investigator studies arrest and court records and may talk with arresting officers, court officials, victims, and witnesses in order to write a Legal Investigation report on the details of the inmate's current offense and a summary of any prior offenses in the same county.
Next, a Parole Investigator interviews the inmate and completes a Personal History Statement questionnaire. The inmate is asked, among other things, where he has resided and worked; who his family members are and where they live; where he plans to live and work upon release; and what his own account is of his crime.
Before the Board makes a final decision to parole an offender, the Board reviews a Parole Review Summary from the Department of Corrections. This discusses the offender's behavior, attitude, physical status, mental and emotional condition, participation in self-improvement activities, and work performance.
The Board may, at its discretion, request a psychological or psychiatric interview of the inmate.
Other documents in the case file include a Federal Bureau of Investigation or Georgia Crime Information Center record of arrests and convictions, Classification and Admission Summary (on the inmate's condition when he entered prison), Disciplinary Reports, relevant and non-repetitive correspondences, and summaries of interviews with persons contacting the Board.
Board Solicits Information from the Victim, Judge, District Attorney and the community during the parole process
The Parole Process in Georgia isan open public process allowing for correspondence about the case to be sent to the Board at anytime during the offender’s incarceration up to the point of a parole release. Victims, prosecutors (district attorneys) and the public may send the Board information.
Statutory and the Board’s Notifications
Registered victims of a crime are given notification at the time the Board is considering a parole release allowing for a period the victim may send the Board information about the case. (O.C.G.A. § 17-17-13)
Registered crime victims may also use an automated system to call-in and receive an offender status update. (Review V.I.P. at https://pap.georgia.gov/victim-information-program-vip)
The state’s prosecutors or district attorneys routinely provide information to the Board regarding cases. During the post-sentence investigation period conducted by parole investigators, the district attorney has the opportunity to provide information and his/her view of the case.
In June of 2016, in order to ensure the Board has current information about the case, the Board implemented a second solicitation/notification to judges and district attorneys. Now six months prior to an offender becoming parole eligible, the Board sends a notification to the judge anddistrict attorney requesting information about the case. Based on an agreement between the Board and the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, this notification is made regarding convictions for the following offenses:
Attempted Aggravated Child Molestation;Attempted Aggravated Sexual Battery;Attempted Aggravated Sodomy;Attempted Armed Robbery;Attempted Kidnapping;Pimping or Pandering a child under age 18;RICO Prohibited Activities;Trafficking Persons for Sexual Servitude; Aggravated Assault (with injury or weapon);Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer;Aggravated Assault with Intent to Murder, Rape or Rob; Aggravated Battery;Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer;Aggravated Stalking; Attempted Murder;Attempted Rape;Burglary of an occupied residence;Burglary of an unoccupied residence (committed on/after 10/21/13);Bus Hijacking;Child Molestation; Cruelty to Child First Degree;Enticing Child for Indecent Purposes;Feticide by Vehicle;Hijacking Motor Vehicle;Home Invasion 1st and 2nd Degree; Homicide by Vehicle while DUI or Habitual Violator;Incest;Involuntary Manslaughter;Robbery; Statutory Rape; VGCSA - Cocaine or Meth ( 400+ grams);VGCSA - Marijuana (10,000+ pounds);VGCSA - Opiates (28+ grams);Voluntary Manslaughter;Murder & Felony Murder;Kidnapping & Kidnapping with Bodily Injury;Aggravated Child Molestation;Aggravated Sexual Battery;Aggravated Sodomy; Armed Robbery; and Rape.
As a result of legislation enacted during the 2017 session,the Parole Board notifies the district attorney if an offender convicted of a serious violent felony is being considered for paroleor conditional release.This notification is made at a minimum of 90-days prior to the final decision to paroleor conditionally releasean inmate. Those serious violent felonies are: murder; armed robbery; kidnapping; rape; aggravated child molestation; aggravated sodomy,and; aggravated sexual battery (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.1.). The Board shall also give the offender being considered an opportunity to submit information. This additional notification allows for another opportunity for the Parole Board Members to receive additional or current community views regarding the scheduled parole for the offender. (O.C.G.A. §42-9-43(c)(1)).
Judges, district attorneys and registered victims also receive a 72-hour statutory notification that the offender is about to be paroled. The Board may receive information about the case during this period. (O.C.G.A. § 42-9-47)
Work Release and Program Referral
When considering an inmate for parole, the Board may vote tentatively for parole on condition that the inmate successfully completes the Department of Corrections’ work release program first.The inmate is notified that he is being recommended to that Department for work release.The Department of Corrections, not the Parole Board, handles placement of the inmate in a suitable facility.
The Board during parole consideration, may recommend an inmate for the Department of Corrections’ alcohol and drug treatment program, or other rehabilitative programs, which upon successful completion, may lead to parole.
PRACTICE TIP: FOR INMATES RECEIVING SENTENCES OF TWO YEARS OR LESS, THE BOARD EXPEDITES PAROLE CONSIDERATION AND GENERALLY MAKES A DECISION WITHIN SIX MONTHS, RELYING PRIMARILY ON THE OFFENSE AND THE INMATE'S PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY.What is the parole process in Georgia? ›
Before the Board makes a final decision to parole an offender, the Board reviews a Parole Review Summary from the Department of Corrections. This discusses the offender's behavior, attitude, physical status, mental and emotional condition, participation in self-improvement activities, and work performance.How do you answer parole board questions? ›
Do not answer what you (the inmate) believe the Parole Board wants to hear, they are experienced enough to know who is being false. Think about yourself, tell a story about how your crimes have impacted the surrounding community (not only you and your family). How have you addressed the issues in your life?Can you appeal a parole decision in Georgia? ›
Individuals serving felony sentences in Georgia can appeal a parole decision, but only under specific circumstances. An individual may request for the Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider its decision to deny parole. However, the Board will only reconsider is there if new evidence for the Board members to review.How do parole boards make decisions? ›
At the hearing, the panel considers all relevant and reliable information in the individual case in order to determine whether the inmate is suitable for release. If an inmate is found unsuitable for parole, statutory law requires that the next hearing be set 3, 5, 7, 10, or 15 years in the future.What happens when you violate parole in GA? ›
When a parolee has reportedly violated a condition of his release, a Board warrant may be issued for his arrest. If the alleged violation is absconding from community supervision, or if the parolee is otherwise not available to the Board for a hearing, a temporary revocation order may be issued.How long does parole in place take to process? ›
How long does the application process take? The processing time to apply for Parole in Place is approximately 4 or 5 months. You can get information about this on the USCIS National Historical Median Processing Time page. What if I have a criminal conviction?How often do people come up for parole? ›
For some inmates, federal law requires a parole hearing every two years. Many inmates have several parole hearings before they are found suitable for release by the Parole Commission. Some parole-eligible inmates are never released to parole supervision.What are sentences for parole? ›
If a prisoner is released on parole, they are still undergoing their sentence until it expires, but are doing so in the community rather than in prison. At any time while on parole, they can be returned to prison to continue to serve their sentence if the risk of them remaining in the community is not acceptable.What is done in a parole interview? ›
The parole interview conducted by the Parole Board decision makers is an opportunity to review each incarcerated individual. Every decision maker discusses the person's criminal history and institutional conduct and program participation. Each decision maker considers the person's needs and risks.
What are the four most important factors parole boards consider before granting release on parole? ›
- lack of a juvenile record or significant history of violent crime.
- crime was committed as a result of significant stress.
- stable social history.
- remorse and understanding of the nature and magnitude of the offense.
- present age reduces the probability of recidivism.
If someone gets the mandatory minimum, they must serve all 10 years of that sentence in prison and without the possibility of parole. The only way to get around the mandatory minimum for a serious violent felony is if the State agrees to go below the mandatory minimum.Who qualifies for clemency in Georgia? ›
When am I eligible to apply for a Pardon? You must have completed all sentence(s) at least five (5) years prior to applying and have lived a law-abiding life since the completion of your sentence(s). You can have no pending charges against you. All fines must be paid in full.How do I write a letter to the Parole Board in Georgia? ›
- Step 1: Choose an appropriate format. ...
- Step 2: Introduce yourself. ...
- Step 3: Describe your relationship with the offender and why you think the offender is unlikely to reoffend or violate parole conditions. ...
- Step 4: Explain how you will support the offender's rehabilitation. ...
- Step 5: Conclude your letter.
In Georgia, the governor does not even have the power to issue pardons, as that duty lies with the state's board of pardons and paroles. According to Carlson, Trump could not even apply for a pardon until he has been convicted and served five years in a Georgia prison.How much are parole fees in Georgia? ›
Eligible parolees pay either a $30 supervision fee or a $30 victim compensation fee each month, but not both. The Board may exempt parolees who, due to certain disabilities, may be unable to remit such payments without extreme hardship on them or their families.How long is life with parole in Georgia? ›
-Life Sentences: January 1, 1995 and June 30, 2006 sentences are eligible for parole after 14 years; and sentences after June 30, 2006 are eligible for parole after 30 years. If parole denied, a next look is within 8 years. -Repeat Offenders/Recidivists (O.C.G.A.What are the four types of release? ›
- Parole. "Parole" means the release of a prisoner to the community by the Board of Parole (BOP) prior to the expiration of the offender's sentence. ...
- Probation. ...
- Determinate Release. ...
- Community Corrections.
In Georgia, every individual serving a felony sentence in prison is considered for parole by the time he or she completes one third of his or her sentence (Parole Eligibility Date (“PED”) is equal to one-third of the prison sentence). A decision then is made concerning his or her release date.