Every state operates some form of parole board as part of an independent commission under the state DOC’s (ACA, 2015). The mission of the parole boards is to protect and preserve public safety through state statutes and policies, while ensuring due process for inmates eligible for parole (ACA, 2015). The parole board aims to ensure public safety and establish a fair and just system for inmates to gain parole status (ACA, 2015).
The parole board consists of professional members within the state who make judgements about the suitability of a prisoner to reenter society after serving a portion of their prison sentence (ACA, 2015). In some states, the Governor appoints members to serve on the parole board. Each state sets the eligibility criteria from parole board members (ACA, 2015).
Parole board inmate hearings happen at locations selected by the DOC’s (ACA, 2015). Many times victims or their family members will make a written statement or appear in front of the parole board as part of the victim rights (ACA, 2015). Victims are allowed to give statements of how the inmate’s crimes have affected their lives (ACA, 2015). These victim impact statements are considered as part of the evidence to determine parole before any final judgement is decided (ACA, 2015).
American Correctional Association (ACA). (2015). Correctional history. Retrieved from http://www.aca.org/ACA_Prod_IMIS/ACA_Member/About_Us/Our_History/ACA_Member/AboutUs/AboutUs_Home.aspx?hkey=0c9cb058-e3d5-4bb0-ba7c-be29f9b34380
About the Author
Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.