Once a defendant is convicted and sentenced to serve time in prison, the defendant’s next big concern might be the parole hearing. Some prisoners are eligible for parole after they serve a certain portion of their sentence. Parole isn’t automatic or guaranteed. Instead, the inmate will have to go before a parole board for a parole hearing to determine if he or she will be able to be integrated back into the community through parole.
Who attends a parole hearing?
The parole hearing is conducted by the parole board. The inmate attends the hearing, as well as the victim, victim’s next of kin and immediate family members. Parole hearings aren’t open to the public, but one support person can attend the hearing with the victim or victim’s family. That support person isn’t allowed to participate in the hearing. In some cases, people might be subpoenaed to the parole hearing.
Will the inmate be released if a parole hearing is scheduled?
Having a parole hearing doesn’t guarantee release. In fact, some inmates might have several parole hearings before the parole board approves a release. It is possible for an inmate to be denied parole at each hearing. Some federal inmates are required to have a parole hearing every 2 years.
Inmates should ensure they are ready for a parole hearing when one is set. The parole board takes a variety of factors into consideration, including the circumstances of the crime, the inmate’s actions while incarcerated and the plan the inmate has for after release. Once the inmate is released, he or she will be placed under the supervision of a parole officer until the completion of the sentence.
Source: The United States Department of Justice, “Parole Hearings,” accessed Oct. 13, 2015