What is Discretionary Parole?

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To receive discretionary parole, an offender must complete one-third of his or her sentence and receive the approval of the Parole Board - an independent agency that is part of the Department of Corrections. Statutes set out basic criteria for eligibility, but the five citizen members of the Board decide whether or not an offender can actually be released. When making their determination, the Board considers the seriousness of the offense, the offender's criminal record, adjustment and treatment while incarcerated, and an offender's future plans. The Parole Board also considers the crime's impact on the victim and the victim's future safety. Victims and survivors are notified of all discretionary parole hearings, unless they do not notify the Department of Corrections of any change of address. The victim may express feelings and concerns to the Board in writing or testify before the board in person. To ensure registration to receive notification of future Parole Board hearings for ... more
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