Myths and Truths

Myths and Truths about the Parole Process

Myth: The Parole Commission meets as a group in a formal hearing to decide whether an offender should be paroled.

Truth: The commissioners conduct an individual review of the offender's file and vote independently.


Myth: Offenders apply for or request parole.

Truth: Inmates become eligible for parole according to governing laws at the time of the offense.


Myth: The Governor can overturn the Parole Commission's decisions.

Truth: The Commission has exclusive authority in parole matters. There is no appeal process.


Myth: The Parole Commission meets face to face with the offender during the parole review process.

Truth: The Commission does not meet with the offender. Parole decisions are based on information in offenders' case files that was requested and/or received, information from the Division of Prisons, and views of victims, family members, and any other interested parties.


Myth: Commissioners place incarcerated offenders in community based programs (work release, home leaves, etc.)

Truth: The Commission has no jurisdiction over the placement of offenders in community-based programs while they are incarcerated. The Commission gives final approval for work release placement in Life sentence cases, but takes action only after receiving a recommendation from the Division of Prisons.


Myth: All of the Commissioners must agree to deny or approve parole for offenders.

Truth: The majority of the Commission must agree to deny or approve parole for all eligible offenders.


Myth: The Commission doesn't have to review cases every year.

Truth: Once an offender has met parole eligibility requirements, the Commission must review the case at a minimum of once per year with the exception of offenders convicted of 1st or 2nd degree murder.  These cases are reviewed every three years.