Parole And Post Conviction FAQs

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If you or your loved one is seeking parole, you likely have many questions about what to do next. We’ve provided answers to frequently asked questions about parole cases, as well as some of the most common inquiries we get here at our firm. We encourage you to browse our parole and post conviction FAQs but keep in mind that the specifics of your situation may be unique the legal route may be as well. To speak to one of our attorneys about your unique case, contact our firm and request a free, confidential case evaluation.

Call 404-583-3364 or use our online request form.

What is parole?

Parole is the discretionary decision of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to release a certain offender from confinement after he or she has served an appropriate portion of a prison sentence. Parole allows for an offender to serve a portion of the term of imprisonment under supervision, in the community, rather than in prison. Persons on parole remain under state supervision and control according to conditions which, if violated, allow for re-imprisonment.

What is the difference between probation and parole?

Probation is an act of the court, not of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Probation instead of imprisonment may be ordered by a court for all or part of a person’s sentence. Probation is not parole. Parole may be granted only by the Parole Board after a person has served part of his sentence in prison.

When are inmates eligible? Which inmates are eligible for parole? Who is not eligible for parole?

Most Georgia inmates have a right to be considered for parole, but they do not have a right or “liberty interest” which requires release on parole.

Most parole-eligible inmates become statutorily eligible for parole consideration after serving one-third of their prison sentence.

State inmates are considered for parole automatically unless required to serve the entire sentence as mandated by Georgia law. Inmates serving a non-life sentence for one or more of the “serious violent felonies” committed on or after January 1, 1995, are not eligible for parole and must serve 100% of the prison term imposed by the Judge. The “serious violent felonies” are murder, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, armed robbery, and kidnapping.

Also not eligible are those inmates sentenced as a recidivist (convicted of a fourth felony), or sentenced to life without parole or those under a death sentence. By law, all other inmates in state custody are considered for parole at least once during their prison term.

When are inmates serving a life sentence eligible for parole?

Some life sentenced inmates become eligible for consideration after fourteen years, (committed offense prior to July 1, 2006), others after thirty years (committed offense after July 1, 2006), and a select few are eligible after seven years (committed offense prior to 1995 or the life sentence was for sale of drugs). Under Georgia law, some life sentenced inmates are not eligible for any parole. Inmates should review the “Time Served Rules” in the Inmate Handbook.

Are inmates considered for parole more than once?

Inmates serving non-life sentences who are denied parole will be automatically reconsidered by the Board at least every five years after becoming eligible for parole. Inmates who are serving life sentences who are denied parole, will, by policy, be reconsidered for parole at regular intervals not to exceed eight years.

What are Parole Decision Guidelines?

It is a carefully researched method of standardizing offenders’ confinement times based on crime severity and parole risk. Implemented in 1979 and revised several times since, the Parole Decision Guidelines is used to assist the Board in making consistent, soundly based, and understandable parole decisions on inmates serving non-life sentences. The offender’s likelihood of success on parole (risk to re-offend) is measured by weighted factors concerning the offender’s criminal and social history which the Board has found to have value predicting the probability of further criminal behavior and successful adjustment under parole supervision.

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