Tag: parole

Pardon & Parole Reform – 2018 Oklahoma Laws #6

This change creates an administrative parole docket, addresses the parole of aging prisoners, and makes statutory references to crimes considered “violent crimes.”

Administrative Parole

For crimes committed on or after November 1, 2018, any person in the custody of the Department of Corrections will be eligible for parole after serving 1/4 of their sentence(s), according to the following criteria:

  1. A prisoner is eligible for administrative parole once they’ve served 1/4 of the sentence or consecutive sentences imposed. A prisoner serving a sentence of life without parole is ineligible. A Pardon & Parole Reformprisoner serving a sentence for a violent or 85% crime is ineligible.
  2. A prisoner is eligible for parole once he or she serves 1/4 of the sentence or consecutive sentences imposed. A prisoner serving a sentence of life without parole is ineligible.

An eligible prisoner may now be considered for parole up to two months prior to the parole eligibility date.

Administrative parole may be granted if:

  1. The prisoner has substantially complied with the requirements of the case plan
  2. A victim, or the district attorney speaking on behalf of a victim, has not submitted an objection;
  3. The prisoner hasn’t received a primary class X infraction within two years of the parole eligibility date;
  4. The prisoner hasn’t received a secondary class X infraction within one year of the parole eligibility date; or
  5. The prisoner hasn’t received a class A infraction within six months of the parole eligibility date.

At least 90 days prior to the parole eligibility date of a prisoner, the Department of Corrections must notify the Pardon and Parole Board in writing of the compliance or noncompliance of the prisoner with the case plan and any infractions committed by the prisoner. The Pardon and Parole Board won’t be required to conduct a hearing before granting administrative parole. Any prisoner who is not granted administrative parole will be otherwise eligible for parole pursuant to other sections in the law. A prisoner who is granted administrative parole will be supervised and managed by the Department of Corrections in the same manner as a parolee who has been granted parole pursuant other sections of the last. The prisoner will be subject to all the rules and regulations of parole.

Parole for Aging Prisoners

The Pardon and Parole Board is now empowered to parole a prisoner who:

  1. Is 60 years old or older;
  2. Has served, in actual custody, the shorter of ten years of the term or terms of imprisonment, or 1/3 of the total term or terms of imprisonment;
  3. Poses minimal public safety risks warranting continued imprisonment;
  4. Is not imprisoned for a violent or 85% crime; and
  5. Has not been convicted of a crime that would require the prisoner to register as a sex offender

The Pardon and Parole Board must use an evidence-based risk-assessment instrument to assess the public safety risk posed by aging prisoners upon release.

Unless eligible for release at an earlier date, an aging prisoner who has been committed to the Department of Corrections may request a parole hearing before the Pardon and Parole Board if the prisoner has served, in actual custody, the shorter of:

  1. Ten years of the term or terms of actual imprisonment; or
  2. One-third of the total term or terms of imprisonment.

Once the aging prisoner requests a parole hearing, the Pardon and Parole Board may place the prisoner on the next available docket. The Pardon and Parole Board may grant parole to a prisoner if the Board finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the prisoner, if released, can live and remain at liberty without posing a substantial risk to public safety. The Pardon and Parole Board may use the selected evidence-based risk-assessment instrument to make that determination. The Pardon and Parole Board may provide the prisoner the opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf and the option of having counsel present at the parole hearing.

This law defines “aging prisoner” as any prisoner who is 60 years old or older. It defines “evidence-based” as those programs or practices that have been scientifically tested in controlled studies and proven to be effective.

Statutory References to Violent Crimes

Finally, this law added statutory references to the violent crimes listed in 57 O.S. 571. Most of the crimes were just listed by name. Now, there is a reference to the exact statute for all crimes.

HB 2286 modified 57 O.S. §§ 332.2, 332.7, and 571 and created 57 O.S. § 332.21. It went into effect November 1, 2018.

Sources: HB 228657 O.S. § 332.257 O.S. § 332.757 O.S. § 571, & 57 O.S. § 332.21.

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