The Parole Process in Georgia

Understand the parole process in Georgia: key steps, eligibility criteria, and essential information for inmates and their families. Learn more here.

What Is the Parole Process in Georgia?

 

You might have questions about Georgia’s parole laws if you have been accused of a crime and could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

Early release, commonly called parole, is afforded to specific inmates. Parole enables an offender to serve the remaining time of their prison sentence in the community under the supervision of a parole officer. However, if the parolee disobeys the terms of their release, they risk going back to jail.

Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles (SBPP) can grant parole to eligible criminal defendants who have served a portion of their sentence.

Parole Requirements in Georgia

Unless they have committed specified felonies, most inmates convicted of various crimes are eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentence. A person serving a sentence for a serious violent felony is not eligible for parole. Serious violent felonies in Georgia are murder, felony murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery.

Additionally, some offenders criminals are forced by state law to complete their sentences without parole eligibility. These comprise:

  • Recidivists, or prisoners who have been convicted of their fourth felony.
  • Inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole if they have committed a serious violent felony.
  • Inmates awaiting execution.

While being eligible for parole means you have the right to be considered when the time comes, it does not imply that parole will necessarily be granted to you.

How Does Parole Work in Georgia?

 

All offenders convicted in Georgia and held by the Department of Corrections are automatically considered, except those sentenced with no option for parole. It is not necessary to file a parole application.

The Board will evaluate an inmate’s circumstances when deciding whether to grant parole to someone who will soon be statutorily eligible. The Parole Decision Guidelines system, which considers the seriousness of the offense and the inmate’s risk of re-offending, as well as the parole eligibility date, aids the Board in making its ultimate determination of whether to grant or deny parole.

To assess the risk of an inmate re-offending, the Board uses weighted factors regarding the offender’s sentence to estimate future criminal behavior.

Submission of a Parole Packet in Georgia

In Georgia, there are no parole hearings. The Board of Pardons and Paroles reviews the inmate’s parole packet, which includes information about their release plan, criminal history, prison conduct, and any other relevant factors.

The submission of a parole packet is crucial. It should be precise and detailed and provide all necessary information to support an early release. The contents of a parole packet can vary depending on the individual, but it typically includes:

  • Expressions of remorse and responsibility: The inmate should express genuine remorse for their crimes and take full responsibility for their actions. This shows the board that the inmate acknowledges the impact of their crimes and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.
  • Plans for employment, housing, and community involvement: The packet should outline the inmate’s plans for employment, securing housing, and engaging in positive community involvement upon release. This demonstrates the inmate’s commitment to leading a productive and law-abiding life.
  • Educational, vocational, or rehabilitative program records: Documentation of any educational, vocational, or rehabilitative programs the inmate has completed during incarceration should be included. This indicates the inmate’s efforts to improve themselves and prepare for a successful reentry into society.
  • Statements of support: Letters or statements from family, friends, mentors, or community members who will support the inmate’s reentry should be included. These statements can provide insight into the inmate’s character and the support network that will be in place upon release.
  • Realistic parole plans: The inmate should present a detailed and realistic plan for parole, showing how they intend to contribute positively to society. This plan should align with the goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

This information should be provided to every parole board member before deciding whether to grant or deny parole. It offers a comprehensive view of the inmate’s readiness for release and their potential for successful reintegration into the community. A well-prepared parole packet can significantly increase the chances of being granted parole.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help prepare a thorough and persuasive parole packet that addresses all necessary elements.

Georgia Parole Violation

A board warrant for the arrest of a parolee may be issued when it appears that the parolee has broken one of the terms of his parole.. A temporary revocation order may be granted if the accused infraction evades community supervision or the parolee is otherwise unavailable to the Board for a hearing. The sentence’s execution remains as a result of this order.

Parole Release Process in Georgia

As soon as a prisoner becomes eligible for parole, a parole investigator will investigate the prisoner’s background, including the following:

  • Researching arrest and court records
  • The creation of a legal inquiry report about the inmate’s current offense and earlier offenses that occurred in the same county through interviewing arresting officers, court officials, victims, and witnesses
  • Interviewing the prisoner to obtain a personal history statement that includes information on the crime, the prisoner’s past, their family members, and plans after release

A hearing examiner is given the case after the inquiry is finished. Based on the Parole Decision Guidelines, this person recommends whether and when a prisoner should be released.

These rules are intended to assist the parole board in consistently determining when to grant parole based on the seriousness of the offense and the likelihood that the prisoner would commit more crimes after being released.

One of the parole board members receives the inmate’s case file after the hearing examiner makes their recommendation.

This individual determines whether the hearing examiner’s recommendation should be disregarded in the parole process in light of other considerations. Sometimes, the board member concurs that the prisoner should be released from custody sooner than the hearing examiner suggested.

Once a majority of judgment regarding whether to grant parole has been reached, the procedure is repeated with the other four board members. If the Board approves parole, a potential parole month will be set, Tentative Parole Month (TPM). Before being released, the prisoner may serve this portion of their sentence.

The case will be examined again to decide whether parole will be allowed when the TPM is established. Before the inmate’s release, the Board may modify any decision for any cause.

Can I Get a Parole Consideration While Facing Life Sentences?

A person who has been convicted of four felonies or who has been given a life sentence without the possibility of release will never be eligible for consideration. However, under Article IV, Section II of the Georgia Constitution, any person aged 62 or older can be granted parole. But this will be based on the internal rulings of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

For assistance in preparing the documentation and data for your parole application, contact a parole attorney in Atlanta as soon as you are close to being eligible for parole.

 

How Can a Lawyer Help You in the Parole Process in GA?

Lawyers play a crucial role in ensuring that the parole process in Georgia is navigated accurately and effectively. They can provide invaluable assistance in understanding the complex legal landscape, and strongly advocating for an inmate’s release.

Understanding Georgia Parole Laws

A seasoned parole attorney can offer in-depth knowledge and understanding of Georgia parole laws, which can be complex and nuanced. They can explain the laws in simple terms, making it easier for you and your family to comprehend the parole process and what it entails.

Advocacy during the Parole Hearing

During the parole hearing, a lawyer can present a compelling case for the inmate’s release, effectively highlighting their remorse, rehabilitation efforts, and plans for a stable life post-release. Their advocacy can be influential in the Board’s decision-making process.

Assistance in Case of Denied Parole

If parole is denied, an experienced parole attorney can guide you on the next steps, including possible actions for appeal or reconsideration based on Georgia parole laws. Their help can be instrumental in dealing with the disappointment and challenges accompanying a denied parole.

Contact an Experienced Parole Attorney in Georgia

If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of parole in Georgia, having experienced legal representation by your side is crucial. An experienced parole attorney can help you navigate the complex parole process and fight for your release.

At Conklin Law, our skilled Atlanta parole attorney has extensive experience in Georgia parole laws and can assist you at every stage. We understand the importance of parole and are committed to helping our clients achieve a positive outcome. Contact us today to get assistance with all your post-conviction legal matters, including Georgia Supreme Court appeals.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal support possible, and we strive to stay updated on any changes or updates in Georgia parole laws. We aim to help our clients successfully navigate the parole process and return to their families and loved ones.

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