One - Intake
Two - Rescheduling of Consideration
Three - Dockets
Four - Notice of Hearings
Five - Preliminary Review of Docketed Cases
Article Six - Board Action
on Pardons, Paroles, Remissions of Fines and Forfeitures, and Conditional
Seven - Certification and Reconsideration
Eight - Pardons
Nine – Remissions of Fines
Ten – Remissions of Forfeitures
Eleven - Parole Violations
Twelve - Parole Court Hearings
Thirteen - Parole Court Reports
Fourteen – Board Action Subsequent to Parole Court
Fifteen - Records
Sixteen – Flexibility in Responding to Crises
These Operating Procedures guide the Board and its staff in
performing duties imposed by law. These Procedures are published in order to
aid the public in sharing the Board’s understanding of applicable statutes and
in order to afford notice to the public of the Board’s interpretation of those
Adoption of these Procedures repealed all other procedural rules regulating
the Board’s operations. In order to afford notice to the public of the
procedures followed by this Board, these Procedures are hereby published for
the information of interested individuals.
These Operating Procedures specifically afford notice to the
public of the steps necessary to present a case to the Board for decision. These
Procedures are designed to guide the Board’s staff in preparing cases for the
Board’s consideration. To the extent that the Board may lawfully delegate
discretion to its staff, these Procedures guide the staff in exercising their
discretion. The Board’s staff will exercise that discretion to benefit the
public in general, but these Procedures do not create a duty owed to any
individual. The staff is accountable to the Board, rather than to any
The Executive Director and Senior Staff are authorized to develop
standard operating procedure manuals, providing more detailed guidance to
employees about the performance of their duties. Such manuals shall guide the
employees as they perform the various duties assigned to them.
Nothing in these Procedures shall be construed to conflict with
the Constitution or laws of the State of Alabama.
These Operating Procedures are not intended to, and do not, create
any substantive legal rights for any person. Nothing in these Procedures shall
be construed to create or recognize any liberty or property interest in an
inmate’s desire to be paroled. This Board construes the statutes regulating
pardons and paroles in Alabama as demonstrating a clear legislative intent not
to create such an entitlement.
The staff of this department is authorized to develop standard
forms to document the official acts of this department, including forms for
inmates, parolees, or the public to use in seeking action by the Board. Any
employee developing a form shall submit it to the Executive Director and the
Chief Counsel for their approval. Any form approved by these two individuals
jointly may be used, without seeking an Order from the Board approving the
The Board convenes in the agency’s Central Office Board Room at
those dates, times, and locations pursuant to notice given to the Secretary of
State’s Office, or as soon thereafter as a
quorum may be assembled.
As soon as
practical after an inmate is sentenced to prison, the Central Office staff
shall prepare a file on the case. The appropriate field office(s) will be
directed to forward a copy of any investigations to the Central Office. If no investigation
has been done at that point, the field office shall conduct its investigation
and submit its report. When the appropriate investigations are in the file, the
Board’s designee shall study the file and schedule an initial parole
consideration docket. There shall be no
presumption that the Board will grant parole based on the setting of an initial
parole consideration date.
A staff member
designated by the Board shall also determine whether the investigation report
is sufficient for Board action. If significant information is lacking, this
designee shall direct the field office to provide further information.
The Board, after
conviction and not otherwise, may parole a prisoner who is eligible for parole.
A majority of the Board may lawfully grant parole on all cases, excluding
victim cases, which require a unanimous affirmative vote until the inmate has
served one third of his sentence or ten years, whichever is lesser.
consideration dates shall be calculated based on the date at which a majority
of the Board may act, taking into account the total term of the inmate’s
sentences. If an inmate is serving one or more sentences, the designee shall
calculate one third or ten years of each sentence with any applicable jail
credits as indicated by the Department of Corrections. The controlling sentence
shall be the longest running sentence as determined by the Department of
designee shall also determine whether correctional incentive time (“good time”)
has been applied by the Department of Corrections to the controlling sentence. If
good time is applied, it shall be taken into account in scheduling the initial
parole consideration date.
If an inmate’s
controlling sentence is for five (5) years or less, regardless of good time
application, initial parole consideration shall be scheduled on the Board’s
If an inmate is
receiving good time as indicated by the Department of Corrections on his/her
controlling sentence, initial parole consideration shall be scheduled as
for terms of five years or less, inmates shall be scheduled
for initial parole consideration on the current docket;
for terms over five to ten years, inmates shall be scheduled
for initial parole consideration approximately eighteen months prior to the
minimum release date;
for terms of more than ten years and up to fifteen years,
inmates shall be scheduled for initial parole consideration approximately 2
years and 6 months prior to the minimum release date;
for total terms in excess of fifteen years, inmates shall be
scheduled for initial parole consideration after the inmate has served
one-third of his/her sentence or ten years, whichever is less.
The Board recognizes that most inmates convicted of
particularly violent or severe offenses, or those with extensive criminal
histories, displaying a great propensity for future violence, or with
significant community opposition are unlikely to receive a sentence subject to
controlling sentence is not subject to good time as indicated by the Department
of Corrections, initial parole consideration shall be scheduled after the
inmate has served one third or ten years, whichever is lesser on his/her
controlling sentence, unless the Board’s designee finds other factors that
indicate another docket would be more appropriate. In assessing the suitability
of the majority vote set, the designee will examine the offender’s prior
record, the nature and severity of the present offense, the potential for
future violence, and any information available regarding community attitude
toward the offender’s release.
Excluding those crimes committed prior
to March 21, 2001, when an inmate is convicted of one or more of the following
Class A felonies, the initial parole consideration date shall be set in
conjunction with the inmate’s completion of eighty-five (85) percent of his or
her total sentence or fifteen (15) years, whichever is less, unless the
designee finds mitigating circumstances: Rape I, Kidnapping I, Murder,
Attempted Murder, Sodomy I, and Sexual Torture; Robbery I with serious physical
injury, Burglary I with serious physical injury, and Arson I with serious
physical injury. Serious physical injury in this paragraph is as defined in
title 13A-1-2(14) of the Alabama Code.
If the designee
finds mitigating circumstances that appear to warrant a deviation from the
standard set, the designee shall document those circumstances, together with a
recommendation for scheduling of consideration. In assessing the suitability of
the standard set, the designee will examine the offender’s prior record, the
nature and severity of the present offense, the potential for future violence,
and any information available regarding community attitude toward the offender’s
release. Any recommendation by the designee scheduling initial parole
consideration, so as to schedule such consideration earlier or later than the
standard set date, shall be supported by a memorandum setting forth the factors
considered and the reasons for the deviation. This memorandum shall be placed in the file
for the consideration of the Review Committee and the Board. The Review
Committee shall schedule initial parole consideration in cases where the
designee has recommended a deviation.
If an inmate is
sentenced under the Split Sentence Act, the Board lacks jurisdiction to
consider parole. If the inmate is serving a split sentence and one or more
other non-split sentences, the Board may exercise jurisdiction only over those
If an inmate is
serving two or more sentences, and the law authorizes parole consideration on
some, but not all of his sentences, then he/she shall be scheduled for parole
consideration on those sentences over which the Board has jurisdiction.
Rescheduling of Consideration
After an inmate
has served a minimum of five (5) years, he/she or someone on the inmate’s
behalf may submit a request, once per calendar year, with designated officers
in the Board’s Central Office to review the inmate’s progress to determine
whether it may be appropriate to schedule earlier parole consideration. Such a
rescheduling may be granted only for good cause shown and circumstances bearing
on the inmate’s probability to succeed on parole, not merely because the inmate
is following the rules in prison. If, after appropriate inquiry or
investigation, the officer or agent is persuaded that earlier consideration may
be proper, he/she may refer the matter to the Review Committee for
consideration. He/she shall enter in the file the facts supporting his/her
recommendation. The inmate will be notified only if their parole consideration
date is changed.
medically infirm inmates may be referred to the Review Committee at any time,
unless the inmate is ineligible for parole based on his/her sentence or
Committee shall consist of no fewer than five (5) members designated by the
Executive Director. Three (3) members constitute a panel. The members shall be
senior staff or employees of the central office. The panel must consist of at
least one member who has five (5) or more years of experience.
Committee may review any cases referred to them for earlier parole
consideration and determine whether it appears to be consistent with society’s
interest to schedule earlier parole consideration. If at least three (3)
Committee members reviewing a case concur in the action, they may reschedule
parole consideration earlier than the parole consideration date previously set.
They shall enter into the file a written statement of the action taken and
shall indicate the names of the Committee members who favored or declined to
favor the action. The Review Committee’s actions shall take effect immediately.
Director or the Chief Counsel or his/her designee may refer any case to the
Review Committee to consider whether rescheduling of consideration is
appropriate, notwithstanding any other provision in these Operating Procedures.
Committee shall not review any case after the Board has denied or revoked
parole on the sentences being served, except as provided herein.
If the Board has
denied or revoked parole, the Committee may consider earlier scheduling, but
such review shall not begin earlier than eighteen (18) months after the Board
has denied or revoked parole. However, those cases previously denied or revoked
by the Board and requiring victim notification must have a referral by the
Executive Director, Chief Legal Counsel or his/her designee, pursuant to
Section 5 of this Article.
The Board will
not consider or decide whether to order or grant any pardon, parole,
conditional transfer or remission, except in an open public meeting. The Board
will not entertain any case, unless that case is on the Board’s docket for that
meeting, as provided herein. Individual Board members will not meet or discuss
with any person(s) other than departmental staff regarding any specific Board
action outside an open public meeting.
The docket unit
shall schedule cases in advance of the meeting, so as to permit statutory
notices to be sent and received, in the normal course of business, pursuant to
Alabama Code Sections 15-22-23 and 15-22-36.
Once the docket
unit sets an open public meeting date for an inmate, a designated officer (IPO
Officer) will interview the inmate and submit a report to the Board prior to
the open public meeting date. The parole officer conducting the interview shall
work with the Department of Corrections’ designated point(s) of contact for
their assigned institution and will review all available Department of
Corrections’ records, including the institutional file, to evaluate the
inmate’s adjustment, shall conduct a risk and needs assessment to determine the
inmate’s risk of re-offense, and shall complete Parole Guidelines established
by the Board, all to be included as attachments to the report to the Board. The
officer shall afford the inmate an opportunity to make a statement regarding
his current situation and his proposed plans for life after prison and shall
provide a form to the inmate, so that he may submit information about his/her
reentry plan, including his/her home and job plan, both of which shall likewise
be incorporated in the report for the Board.
In advance of
each docketed meeting, a docket and files of the docketed cases shall be
available to the members of the Board, so they can study those files in
preparation for that meeting. Each week’s list of docketed cases (“the Docket”)
shall be available to the public upon request.
As the Board
considers each case and takes action, their Secretary shall note on the Docket
whether the relief is ordered or denied. If, at the conclusion of the day's meeting,
the Board has not ordered relief to a candidate or the case has not been
continued, the relief is deemed denied. A completed copy of the Docket,
reflecting the official Board actions taken, shall be included in the Board's
Minutes for the meeting. The Minutes of each open public meeting shall be read
and approved by the sitting Board members at the conclusion of that meeting. Each
member in attendance and the Secretary for the meeting shall sign the Minute
Entries, reflecting the actions taken in that meeting. The Board's Minute Books
are a public record.
When the Board
denies relief without specifying when a case may be docketed in the future, it
will be rescheduled at the discretion of the Board’s designee, but at least
within 2 years.
Notice of Hearings
and 15-22-36 of the Alabama Code specify under what circumstances and which
cases require the Board to provide notice to particular public officials and/or
individuals of meetings at which the Board considers and takes action to grant
pardons, paroles, conditional transfers or remissions. Victims may register
through the automated notification system [https://victims.alabama.gov/] to be
entitled to notice. Victims may alternatively contact the Board to register to
receive notice or a local Victim Services Officer, as well as the Alabama
Attorney General’s Office of Victim Assistance (AGOVA) for assistance.
All notice will
be provided electronically through the automated system unless otherwise
specifically requested and as permitted by law. U.S. Mail and U.S. Certified
Mail, Return Receipt Requested, notifications will be provided by the Board
upon request to the victim named in the indictment or, in the case of a
homicide where the victim is deceased as a result of the offense, to the
victim’s immediate family as defined in these rules. Requesting individuals
must qualify for such notice under Alabama Code Section 15-22-36(e)(1)(a – i).
Probation and Parole Officer assigned to prepare a pre- or post-sentence
investigation report must register the contact information of the victim named
in the indictment into the automated notification system prior to sentencing as
provided by the prosecuting district attorney. If a surviving victim is a
minor, information for custodial parents or legal guardians, if any, shall be
entered into the automated notification system at that time. For homicide cases
where the victim is deceased as a result of the offense, contact information
for the immediate family (as defined by these rules) shall be entered into the
automated notification system at that time. The automated notification system
will automatically notify the sentencing court that the victim contact
information has been entered.
define the “immediate family” of a victim as follows:
If the victim is a minor at the time of death (as a result of
the offense), his/her custodial parent(s) or legal guardians and any siblings
are in his/her immediate family.
If the victim is married at the time of death (as a result of
the offense), the surviving spouse is his/her immediate family, to the
exclusion of his/her parent(s) and any siblings.
If minor children of the victim survive the victim (who is
deceased as a result of the offense), they are in his/her immediate family.
If the victim is an adult at the time of his/her death (as a
result of the offense), but is not married and leaves no children, and is
survived by his/her parents, the parents are regarded as his/her immediate family.
In any other case, where a victim is deceased as the result of
the offense, any relative of the victim will be considered the victim’s
The members of the victim’s immediate family shall be
identified as of the time of the victim’s death.
This definition of immediate family will be used to determine
whether an individual is authorized to receive U.S. Mail or U.S. Certified
Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and will also be used in determining who the
Board is required to locate by law in homicide cases, as well as who may appear
before the Board in a homicide case as immediate family of the victim who is
deceased as a result of an offense to present his/her views to the Board.
The Victims Unit
of this agency shall have the primary responsibility for identifying and
locating those individuals the Board is required by law to exercise due
diligence to locate—victims of homicides, class A felonies, excluding Burglary
I where no victim was present, and criminal sex offenses. The Victims Unit will
inform victims of the importance the Board places on their concerns, as well as
public safety. Upon locating a victim in those categories above, the Victims
Unit shall register the most recent contact information of those victims
located into the automated notification system. After such registration,
victims may update their contact information through the automated notification
system’s website [https://victims.alabama.gov/] so that the notice to which
system registrants are entitled is made to the proper registered information
for the victim. See Ala. Code § 15-22-36(e)(2). Victims may choose to make use
of the system’s automated update feature, utilizing Alabama driver license
records. See Ala. Code § 15-22-36.2.
If the Board is
required to exercise due diligence to locate a victim who is a minor, unless
some other person or entity (including a State or public agency) is the legal
guardian, the custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the minor will be
located and the contact information of any parents or guardians located will be
entered into the automated notification system. If, however, the victim was a
minor at the time of the offense, but has attained majority, the victim will be
located and the contact information of the victim will be entered into the
automated notification system.
Any employee of
this department assigned to identify and locate an individual shall document
all steps taken. If the employee is unable to identify or locate a victim, or
if it is not otherwise possible to notify a person the Board is required to
locate, a “certificate of due diligence” shall be executed by an employee of
the department certifying that the victim cannot be located and detailing the
steps taken to locate the victim. The certificate of due diligence will become
a part of the Board file and the Board will proceed with the hearing.
Victims who must
be located, but decline to be registered in the automated system or notified
via an available mode of notification, will be certified as a due diligence
A victim who opts
not to receive notice or has been certified as a due diligence case by the
Board, as specified above, may later register or opt back in to receive notice
(if already registered) in the automated notification system.
Preliminary Review of Docketed Cases
consideration docket is prepared, a Board designee shall review each case on
the docket and ensure that all necessary information and documents are in the
Before the Board
may grant parole on any case, the file shall contain a thorough statement of
the offender’s personal and social history, his/her criminal history, the
details of offense for each sentence under consideration, an assessment of his/her
adjustment during the sentence, a proposed reentry plan, including a home and
job program, a current risk and needs assessment, measuring the offender’s risk
of re-offense, completed Parole Guidelines, and evidence that statutorily required
notices have been sent.
Members of the
Board shall review the file individually. Any notes that a Board member may
make in such review shall be for his/her private reference, and shall not be
included in the department’s file pertaining to the case. No member of the
Board will discuss any case or share his/her notes on the case with a colleague
on the Board, prior to the meeting at which the matter is scheduled to be
Any member of the
Board may order an investigation of any matter that may bear on the Board’s
Once a case is
set for open public meeting the Board’s designee shall ensure that the proposed
reentry plan, including the home and job program has been requested.
Prior to a
paroled inmate’s release, a Board designee shall ensure that the proposed reentry
plan, including the home and job program, has been verified to be satisfactory.
Board Action on Pardons,
Paroles, Restorations of Civil and Political Rights, Remissions of Fines and
Forfeitures, and/or Conditional Transfers
On the date set
for consideration, the Board will convene its open public meeting at the
appointed place, at the appointed time, or as soon thereafter as practicable.
When the Board
convenes its open public meeting to consider the matters on its docket, the
bailiff shall notify all persons in the waiting rooms that the Board is
convening to hear all business that may properly come before it and that the
meeting is open to the public.
The Board will
consider each case on the docket in such order as the Board may direct.
giving testimony before the Board shall testify under oath or affirmation.
individuals supporting the grant of relief to the inmate whose case is before
the Board will be afforded the first opportunity to state the reasons relief
ought to be granted. The officials and individuals entitled to notice under the
statute will next be afforded an opportunity to express their views. The Board
may, in its discretion, permit any other person to offer information that might
be helpful in making its decision. If any member of the Board sees a need to do
so, the Board may recess while a member of the staff interviews an individual
to determine whether that individual should be asked or allowed to testify. The
Board may question any person appearing before them.
If a member of
the Board desires information from any person not present, the Board may recess
while a member of the Board’s staff contacts that person. Any and all
information gathered from the person contacted by the Board’s staff member
shall then be presented to the Board for consideration once the Board has
reconvened. In the event that the needed information cannot be obtained during
the meeting, the Board shall decide whether to proceed without that information
or continue the matter to a future meeting.
On parole cases,
the Board shall determine fitness for parole by using actuarially-based
criteria and guidelines established by the Board as required by Alabama Code
If any Board
member desires, the Board may discuss the case before taking action.
When the Board is
prepared to take action, the members shall enter into the file their votes for
or against the relief sought. On paroles, each Member favoring or not favoring the
order of relief shall enter into the file reasons for approval or denial and articulated
reasons will be provided to the Department of Corrections and the inmate whose
case has been considered for parole as a part of a “communication packet,” as
well as upon request to the victim or any interested party. On all other
matters, the Board’s file will reflect only the reasons for approving the
relief sought and such will be public record.
If the requisite
number of votes have been cast in favor of the relief, such shall constitute an
official order for the relief, which shall become effective if not withdrawn by
the Board in a timely manner.
If a quorum may
grant relief and the Board members present are evenly divided, the case shall
be continued to a date certain and that date shall be announced in the open
public meeting. The Secretary of the Board or a Board Member shall announce
that the case will be taken up again at the appointed public meeting.
When each Board Member
has entered his or her vote, or declined to do so, the Secretary of the Board
or a Board Member shall determine whether the requisite number of affirmative
votes appears of record and that the record contains the reasons for favoring
or not favoring the order of relief for each voting Member, and that the order
is otherwise accurately executed, including proper dates. If so, the Secretary
of the Board or a Board Member shall announce that the Board has ordered the
relief sought. If not, the Secretary of the Board or a Board Member shall
announce that the relief has been denied.
If parole has
been denied, the Board shall determine whether and when the case shall next be
docketed for consideration, not to exceed two (2) years for cases with
sentences of twenty (20) years or less, pursuant to Alabama Code Section
15-22-37, and otherwise not to exceed five (5) years.
If at any time a
quorum is not present, the Board shall stand in recess until a quorum is
present. If a quorum is not present at the end of the day, or if it becomes
apparent that a quorum probably will not be assembled for that day, all cases
that have not been decided shall be rescheduled for further consideration as
early as is practicable and consistent with statutory requirements.
If only two
members of the Board are present to hear a case that requires unanimous
approval, the Board may pass over that case to hear other cases on the Docket
that require only two members to vote. Cases docketed under such circumstances,
but requiring a unanimous vote, shall be continued to a date certain, announced
in open public meeting by the Board Members present. In the event that the
Board is unable to take action on the continued case on the date specified, the
case shall be rescheduled for further consideration as early as is practicable
and consistent with statutory requirements.
Certification and Reconsideration
After the Board
has entered an order of pardon, parole, restoration of civil and political
rights, remission of fines and forfeitures, and/or conditional transfer of
prisoners, the Board’s Secretary shall review the file to ensure that the
requisite number of affirmative votes appear of record and that the record
meets all other requirements.
If, prior to the
effect of the certificate of relief, good cause is found by Board staff that
suggests the relief could be held null and void, such cause shall be documented
and placed in the file and the case should be returned to the Board for
Any member of the
Board may void his/her own vote to order relief prior to the effect of the
certificate of relief. If any member of the Board voids his/her order for
relief, the case shall be docketed for reconsideration. Those individuals
registered to receive notice pursuant to Sections 15-22-23 and 15-22-36 shall
be afforded notice of the reconsideration meeting and those individuals who
were provided an opportunity to express their views at the initial hearing will
be afforded the opportunity to do so again. This meeting shall be scheduled as
early as practicable. The order previously entered shall be stayed pending such
All official orders
of the Board granting pardons, paroles, restorations of civil and political
rights, remissions of fines and forfeitures, and/or conditional transfers of
prisoners shall be certified by the Executive Director, except as provided
herein. In the absence of the Executive Director, such certification shall be
by his/her designee or by a member of the Board. The certificate shall bear the
agency seal as evidence that it represents the official act of the State of
Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
facts come to the attention of the Executive Director or his/her designee or
any member of the Board, subsequent to execution of the certificate but prior
to its taking effect, that could result in the grant being rescinded, such
official may order, in writing, that the effective date of such certificate or
the delivery of such certificate be stayed pending further review by each
individual member of the Board who voted in the affirmative. A record of such
information shall be entered into the file.
If, after each
individual member of the Board who voted in the affirmative has reviewed such
information as provided above, the record still contains the requisite number
of votes favoring the order, the stay shall be vacated, and the certificate
shall be delivered and become effective.
If an order to
parole is withdrawn pursuant to this article, that case should be rescheduled
for further consideration approximately twelve (12) months after the order is
withdrawn, unless the Board orders otherwise.
certificate is executed, notice of the action taken by the Board will be made
through the automated notification system and by posting notice publicly on the
provided in the Alabama Code or in these rules, the procedure for deciding
whether to grant a pardon shall be the same as the procedure for deciding
whether to grant a parole.
application shall be considered, except at the request of the person whose
conviction is at issue.
This Board will
entertain petitions for pardon from convictions in the courts of the State of
Alabama for violations of State law. The mayors of the respective
municipalities in Alabama have jurisdiction to pardon violations of municipal
ordinances. Convictions for violation of municipal ordinances are not
considered to be criminal convictions. This Board will also entertain petitions
for pardon from convictions in the courts of the United States or of other
States, if the petitioner is, at the time of application and at the time of
consideration, a resident of Alabama.
set out herein apply to applicants who have either completed their sentence or
who have successfully served at least three years on parole for that sentence.
All other cases are governed by specific statutory provisions.
must fully cooperate with this department’s investigation of his/her criminal
history, personal and social history, and the circumstances of the crime in question.
application and necessary investigations are complete, the case will be
docketed for consideration. The general rules for docketing and notification
If the Board
grants a pardon, the Board will also decide whether to restore any or all civil
and political rights lost as a result of the conviction. As required by law,
the members of the Board favoring the grant of relief shall enter in the file a
detailed written statement of the reasons supporting that decision.
If the Board declines
to grant a pardon and/or to restore any or all civil and political rights, the applicant
may not apply again until at least two years have passed from the date of the
Board action, unless otherwise expressly ordered by the Board.
for pardon prior to completion of sentence or three (3) years of successful
parole shall adhere to requirements of Alabama Code Section 15-22-36, to
include written approval of the judge or district attorney
If the Board’s
designee finds that the statutory jurisdictional requirements are met, the case
will be docketed for the Board’s consideration. The general rules of procedure
applicable to other cases apply to the meeting or meetings at which the Board
considers such cases.
If the Board
orders that the pardon be granted, the order will be made a matter of public
procedures will apply to a request for a Certificate of Eligibility to Register
to Vote, except where superseded by Ala. Code 15-22-36.1. This code section
specifies certain procedures and requirements that must be met, as a matter of
Remissions of Fines
The same general
procedures followed for consideration of pardons or paroles shall apply to
remissions of fines, except as specified herein.
This Board will
exercise this power only in cases to which the State of Alabama is a party.
seeking remission of a fine shall file an application on a form approved by
this department. The application shall contain a short and plain statement of
the reasons that the applicant believes it would be just for this Board to
remit some or all of the fine imposed.
The applicant shall
cooperate in this agency’s investigation of the matter, and shall provide
information about his/her personal, social and criminal history, and the
details of the offense.
officer shall contact the sentencing judge and the district attorney or their
successors and solicit their input.
When the Board
deliberates, they shall consider whether to deny remission entirely, to remit a
portion of the fine (and, if so, what portion), or to remit the entire fine. Unless
a majority of the Board agrees to a specific grant of relief, all relief is
denied. No offender shall be permitted to file a subsequent petition for
remission in the same case after the Board decides his/her case.
If the Board
agrees to grant a remission, each member of the Board favoring the grant shall
enter into the file a detailed statement of his/her reasons for favoring such
remission. The remission order shall specify what portion of the fine is
Director, or in his/her absence, his/her designee or a Board member shall issue
a certificate, evidencing the Board’s order to remit some or all of the fine. The
certificate shall plainly express the terms of the Board’s order and bear the
signature of the Executive Director or other designated officer and the seal of
the State of Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Remissions of Forfeitures
The same general
procedures followed for consideration of pardons or paroles shall apply to remissions
of forfeitures, except as specified herein.
This Board will
exercise this power only in cases to which the State of Alabama is a party.
An applicant for
a remission of forfeiture shall file an application on a form approved by this
department. The application shall contain a short and plain statement of the
reasons the applicant believes it would be just for this Board to remit some or
all of the forfeiture imposed.
will be considered unless the principal has been convicted of the underlying
The Board will
consider applications from the principal or the surety, with notice of the
Board’s forfeiture remission hearing and action taken provided to both the
principal and the surety. In making their application, applicants applying
individually as the principal or the surety must provide up-to-date contact
information for both the principal and surety to the department.
All parties shall
cooperate in the agency’s investigation of the matter, which will include the
usual information about the applicant’s personal, social, and criminal history
and the details of the offense, the investigation shall provide a clear picture
of the applicant’s economic status.
officer shall contact the sentencing judge and the district attorney (or their
successors) and solicit input.
The Board, in
deliberating, shall consider whether to deny the remission entirely, to remit a
portion of the forfeiture (and if so, what portion), or remit the entire
forfeiture. Unless a majority of the Board agrees to a specific order of
relief, all relief is denied. No applicant may submit a subsequent petition for
relief on the same case after the Board makes its decision.
If the Board
agrees to grant a remission, each member of the Board favoring the grant shall
enter into the file a detailed statement of his or her reasons for favoring
such remission. The remission order shall specify what portion of the
forfeiture is remitted.
Director or, in his or her absence, his or her designee or a Board Member shall
issue certificates, evidencing the Board’s Order to remit some of all of the
forfeiture. The certificates shall plainly express the terms of the Board’s
Order. The principal and the surety named in the forfeiture action shall each
receive an original certificate, bearing the signature of the Executive
Director or other designated officer and the seal of the State of Alabama Board
of Pardons and Paroles.
parole officer who has received information indicating that a parolee under his/her
supervision may have violated a condition of parole should investigate the
alleged violation in a timely manner. The thoroughness of the investigation
shall be proportionate to the seriousness of the alleged violation. The parole
officer should make a preliminary determination of the seriousness of the
charges. Appropriate violation responses should be used or recommended by the
supervising officer, including non-confinement-based, as well as confinement-based
sanctions, based on the Board’s Supervision Response Matrix. If the parole
officer believes no further action is required, he/she may report the
investigation in the "Notice of Violation" format to Field Services.
the violation is appropriate for a 2-3 day period of confinement (“dip”), such
will be imposed by the supervising officer with approval from the supervisor
after the parole violator signs an appropriate waiver form, approved by the
agency, giving notice of the specific violation charges alleged by the
supervising officer and those rights defined by Alabama law. The parole
violator, the supervising officer, and the supervisor of the supervising
officer must sign the waiver in order for it to be effective. The waiver must
specify the number of days of confinement and the date/time of release. No
further delinquency action will follow on a “dip” and the signed and completed
waiver form will be adequate documentation to accompany a violator presented by
the supervising officer to the local jail to complete the 2-3 days of
confinement and automatically be released to supervision as of a date/time specified
on the form. The supervising officer’s authority to impose “dips” is limited to
2-3 days at a time, no more than 6 days per month, and not more than 18 days
for the parolee’s supervision term.
a parole violator refuse a “dip,” Alabama law allows for the violator to
request a parole court hearing within 10 days.
the parole violator refuses to accept the “dip” and sign the waiver, or, if the
nature of the violation is more appropriate for full revocation, the following
procedures will apply, subject to statutory revocation caps (“dunks”):
law limits the time in confinement to be imposed by the Board on all parole
violations to three, 45-day periods (or “dunks”) before the Board may impose a
full revocation, unless the parole violator’s current offense is a violent
Class A or sex offense or if the violation charge(s) involve(s) an arrest, new
conviction, or absconding. The Board may not exceed 3 “dunks.” However, the
Board holds authority to directly impose unlimited short periods of confinement
of up to three days (“dips”).
pursuit of full revocation, subject to those revocation caps (“dunks”)
described above, whether outright or in the event a “dip” is refused by the
parole violator, the parole officer, after investigating the alleged violation
and determining that the allegations are well founded, shall submit a written
report to the Field Services Division in the "Report of Parole
Violation" format, also submitting a copy to the Parole Court Hearing
Officer, and the parole violator (and legal counsel, if any).
submission of the report shall initiate the Parole Court Hearing Process. The
parolee shall be directed to appear before the Parole Court for an evidentiary
hearing. The hearing must occur within the statutory time frame of 20 business
the parole officer has reason to believe that the public would be endangered or
that the parolee would abscond supervision if left at liberty, pending further
action, he/she may issue an "authorization to arrest" writ and cause
the parolee to be held in the local county jail.
officer submitting the report shall coordinate with the regional Hearing
Officer to schedule Parole Court and must do so within 72 hours of any arrest.
Services will review notices and reports of parole violation when received from
the field officer through the supervisory chain of command. Field Services will
determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe the parolee has violated
the terms of parole in an important respect. Field Services shall base a
decision on facts appearing in the record, as well as any documented facts. Field
Services shall decide whether the alleged violation is sufficiently serious to
warrant referral to the Board for declaration of delinquency. Field Services
shall docket the case for the Board to decide whether the parolee should be declared
delinquent. Declarations of delinquency should be docketed on a weekly basis,
unless the Board has no regularly scheduled meetings during a particular week. Field
Services will notify the Department of Corrections of the date the Board
declares a parolee delinquent.
Services shall also determine whether the alleged violation is sufficiently
serious to authorize the Department of Corrections to issue a fugitive warrant.
Notice bearing the signature of the Executive Director or his or her designee
shall be forwarded to the Department of Corrections authorizing the issuance of
a fugitive warrant.
at any time, prior to the Parole Court Hearing, the investigating officer needs
to supplement the Report of Parole Violation and/or Field Services directs
modification or supplementation of the report, a supplement/corrected report
must be recirculated to Field Services, the Parole Court Hearing Officer, the
parole violator (and legal counsel, if any). Field Services will, in turn, be
responsible for forwarding any supplement/corrected report to the Board.
decision whether to incarcerate the parolee pending Parole Court may be
reconsidered at any point in the process and the Board retains jurisdiction to
reconsider whether to enter or void a declaration of delinquency at any point
in the process.
Parole Court hearing may occur prior to the decision to refer the charges to
the Board for declaration of delinquency and/or prior to the decision to
authorize the Department of Corrections to issue a fugitive warrant.
Parole Court Hearing
Board has, pursuant to law, appointed or designated officers to hold Parole
Court and to determine the facts pertaining to alleged parole violations. These
hearing officers are authorized to determine whether the parolee is guilty, as
well as to determine whether there is probable cause to detain the parolee
pending final resolution of the charges. Parole Court must be held within 20
business days of an inmate being incarcerated or he/she must be released back
Board prefers to have a single fact-finding hearing, at which the Hearing
Officer will decide whether parole violation charges are proven, evidence in
mitigation and/or aggravation will be heard, and the Hearing Officer will
determine whether it is appropriate to detain the parolee pending the Board’s
decision on revocation. However, the Hearing Officer may determine whether
probable cause exists to detain the parolee, and continue the hearing until a
later date for determination of guilt. The evidence taken at the preliminary
hearing may be considered in the determination of guilt. If there is no
reasonable cause to detain the parolee pending further hearing, the Board shall
be promptly notified in writing.
investigating or charging parole officer shall provide the parolee with a copy
of the Report or Notice containing the charges prior to or contemporaneously
with notice of the date, time and place of Parole Court, whether the parolee is
incarcerated. If the parolee is not incarcerated, the parole officer may
deliver these documents by U.S. mail, addressed to the parolee’s address of
record (as reflected in the parole officer’s supervision notes). The officer
serving these papers shall return a written certificate of service to the
Hearing Officer may accept a knowing, intelligent guilty plea to parole
violation charges. Before doing so, he/she shall ensure that the parolee is
aware of the specific charges, and understands the rights he/she waives by
entering such plea. The Hearing Officer shall not accept a guilty plea unless
the parolee does, in fact, acknowledge that he/she has violated the conditions
of parole. The Hearing Officer shall document the facts admitted to by the
parolee and have the parolee sign the acknowledgement of guilt.
parolee is responsible for notifying his/her counsel and witnesses of the date,
time, and place of the Parole Court hearing. He/she is also responsible for
forwarding a copy of the charges to legal counsel. The parole officer may
assist in contacting counsel or witnesses as a courtesy to the parolee and may
provide copies of the charges or other documents pertaining to Parole Court to
the parolee’s counsel. Papers will be served on the parolee, either by personal
service or mail to ensure receipt of reasonable notice of the charges and the
Parole Court hearing officer may exercise reasonable discretion if any party
requests a continuance of a hearing. The entire hearing may be rescheduled or
the Parole Court may hear such evidence as is available and continue the
hearing for further evidence, as may best serve the ends of justice. If the parolee
requests a continuance and the continuance is denied, the Parole Court should
enter the request and stated grounds in the record. The Parole Court should
also state the reasons for denying the request.
Hearing Officer shall preside over the hearing and govern its conduct. The
Hearing Officer shall ensure that the record accurately reflects all necessary
notices and that the record accurately reflects compliance with all procedural
safeguards. The charging Probation and Parole Officer or his/or her designee
shall present the case of the alleged parole violations. The parolee shall be
allowed to cross-examine accusing witnesses, unless the Hearing Officer
specifically finds good cause to believe the witness would be endangered by
confrontation. If confrontation is disallowed, the Hearing Officer will make
reasonable efforts to balance the parolee’s need for cross-examination. The
parolee shall be allowed to present evidence in his/her own defense, either
personally or through counsel. The parolee’s witnesses shall be subject to
cross-examination. The Hearing Officer may question any witness, and should
permit each side to ask follow-up questions.
investigating/charging parole officer shall present the evidence supporting the
parole violation charges. The parole officer may question any witness. The
parole officer may testify in narrative format if he/she is a competent witness
as to any issue. The parole officer may also question witnesses testifying in
the parolee’s defense. All witnesses against the parolee are subject to
cross-examination. The Parole Court may exercise reasonable discretion in
deciding whether to question witnesses, in order to arrive at the truth. The
Parole Court may exercise reasonable discretion to disallow or limit any question
that seeks to elicit information not pertinent to the issues, or tending
towards abusive or harassing. The Parole Court should include in the record any
questions disallowed and the reasons for the ruling.
purposes of determining whether probable cause exists, the Hearing Officer may
consider any relevant information, including hearsay. For purposes of
determining guilt, the Hearing Officer shall consider any evidence that would
be admissible under either the Alabama Rules of Evidence or the Federal Rules
of Evidence. The Hearing Officer may also consider any other evidence,
including hearsay, that appears to be reliable and probative, but may not
determine guilt solely based upon hearsay evidence. Commonly accepted treatises
on evidence, including Gamble’s, McElroy’s, Wigmore’s
and McCormick’s, should be considered persuasive authority for determining the
admissibility of evidence. The Hearing Officer must state the evidence relied
upon in making his/her determination.
Parole Court shall allow the parolee great leeway in presenting mitigating information.
For purposes of mitigation, the Hearing Officer shall consider any information
offered by the parolee. Any objections shall go to the weight of the evidence
and not to its admissibility.
Hearing Officer shall take judicial notice of conditions of parole imposed by
this Board or by another State pursuant to the Interstate Compact. The parolee
may introduce evidence that he/she was not aware of a condition. The Hearing
Officer shall take judicial notice of the laws of the State of Alabama. In the
absence of proof to the contrary, the Hearing Officer may rely on a copy of a
municipal ordinance or of a statute of another jurisdiction as evidence of the
law in that jurisdiction. The Hearing Officer may presume, in the absence of
proof to the contrary, that each municipality in Alabama has adopted an
ordinance incorporating the penal provisions of the Alabama Code into its
municipal law. The Hearing Officer may accept a certified copy of a judgment of
conviction as conclusive evidence that the parolee is guilty of violating a
law, provided that, in the case of a conviction in municipal court or district
court, the time for appealing to circuit court for trial de novo had run before
the certification was issued.
Hearing Officer may determine that a parolee is guilty of violating a law, but
that the offense was less than that named in the delinquency report. The
Hearing Officer may also determine that a parolee is guilty of violating a law
other than that named in the delinquency report, if the report provided fair
notice to the parolee of the wrongful conduct at issue.
Parole Court Reports
Hearing Officer shall file a written report, detailing the evidence considered
and deciding the facts. The report shall also state what evidence was relied
upon in the findings of facts. The report shall clearly state whether each
charge was proven. If the parolee is found guilty of violating the terms of parole,
the Hearing Officer shall also include in his/her report a detailed assessment
of the mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances and make a recommendation to
the Board. The Hearing Officer’s report shall detail the reasons supporting the
recommendation of the Hearing Officer to the Board is governed by Alabama’s
revocation cap (“dunk”) law: in all cases, excluding those parole violators
whose current offense is a violent Class A’s or sex offense as well as for
charges for a new arrest or conviction, or absconding, the Parole Court may
only recommend and the Board may only impose a 45-day max period of confinement
(“dunk”). The hearing officer and the Board are limited to
recommending/imposing 3 total “dunks” and may not recommend/impose full
revocation until 3 “dunks” have first been imposed. Thus, the Hearing Officer
shall recommend to the Board whether the parole violator should be “dunked” (or
incarcerated for up to 45 days), fully revoked, or reinstated, as applicable.
parolee shall be provided a copy of the Hearing Officer’s Findings of Fact and
recommendation. The Parole Court Docket Clerk is responsible for ensuring that
a copy of the report is served on the parolee, and that a certificate of
service is returned to the Clerk verifying the date of service.
written report is the official record of the Parole Court Hearing.
the Parole Court determines that no charges have been proven, but that there is
probable cause to believe any charge may be proven, the case may be continued
pending further hearing. The Parole Court should also determine whether it is
appropriate to detain the parolee pending such further hearing. These findings
are to be reduced to writing, and a copy is to be served on the parolee.
as provided in the preceding section, if no charges are proven to the
reasonable satisfaction of the Hearing Officer, the Clerk shall forthwith
prepare a draft order for the Board’s signature, directing withdrawal of any
warrant issued by authority of this department. That draft order and the
Hearing Officer’s report shall be filed with the Clerk to be presented to the
Board for action by the most expeditious means. The Clerk shall prepare a
docket of acquittals for the Board’s review. The Board’s review of acquittals
is for the purpose of ensuring that Hearing Officers are properly evaluating
the evidence presented to them. The Board will also review the files pertaining
to proven charges as they determine whether parole should be revoked.
parolee who has been accused of a specific parole violation, after the charge
is found "not proven," shall not have parole revoked for that
violation unless the charge is subsequently proven in a new evidentiary hearing
or unless he/she is convicted of an underlying criminal charge.
the parolee is found guilty of any charge, the Hearing Officer’s report shall
be filed with the Clerk. The Clerk shall prepare two separate dockets. The
cases in which Hearing Officers recommend reinstatement shall be presented to
the Board separately from those cases in which the Hearing Officers recommend
imposition of an up to 45-day period of confinement (“dunk”) or full
revocation. The Clerk shall be responsible for tracking the number of dunks
imposed on each parolee, as well as the supervising officer.
the parolee has not been incarcerated pending the Parole Court hearing, the
Parole Court shall determine whether incarceration is appropriate pending the
Board’s final decision.
Parole Court report and recommendation of the Hearing Officer will be submitted
to the Board at the earliest practicable time. When reinstatement is
appropriate, the Board believes that society benefits when this decision is
made and carried out as soon as possible.
Board Action Subsequent to Parole Court
records of Parole Court proceedings shall be maintained in the agency file
pertaining to the affected parolee.
Board shall take up its parole court dockets during regularly scheduled open
public meetings. After consideration of the parole court report, the Board
shall decide whether to continue parole, reinstate parole, impose an up to 45
day period of confinement (“dunk”), or revoke parole. The Board will only
consider revocation on charges proven to the reasonable satisfaction of the
Parole Court. However, the Board may remand any charge for further hearing. Nothing
in these rules will limit the Board’s authority to impose a lesser 2-3 day
jail-based sanction, as provided by Alabama law.
Board order “dunking” or revoking parole shall state the reasons for revocation
and shall refer to the evidence relied on in determining that revocation is
the Board is inclined to reinstate to parole supervision any parolee found
guilty of parole violation, the case may be continued to a later meeting,
pending verification of a home and job plan.
the Board is of the opinion that the interests of justice will be served by
remanding a case for further hearing, either to ensure that the parolee has had
due process or to ensure that society is properly served by a more thorough
fact-finding process, such proceedings shall be conducted as promptly as may be
practicable and just.
Board retains jurisdiction to reconsider any revocation that they may later
determine to have been improvidently ordered.
Revocation Unit shall notify the Department of Corrections of any order
“dunking” or revoking parole or returning a parolee to parole supervision with
5 business days.
Revocation Unit shall ensure Field Services receives copies of any needed
dockets, orders, or records.
revocation for a new offense, unless the new offense is one of those subject to
Article 1, Section 9 of these rules, the Board will schedule the inmate’s next
parole consideration date based on the set-off date established by the Board
for the revoked case if the revoked case remains the controlling case (the
longest running case). If the new offense becomes the controlling case,
however, the Board will schedule the inmate’s next parole consideration date in
accordance with the provisions of Article 1. For revocations due to a technical
violation, the inmate’s next parole consideration date will be scheduled based
on the Board’s set-off date established for the inmate’s revoked case.
records of the Board pertaining to each inmate are confidential and subject to
an absolute governmental privilege. Prior to enactment of the statutory privilege
in 1951, the Legislature regarded these files as privileged by common law. The
Legislative history of Act 1951-599 indicates the Legislature was concerned
about the risks of abuse if individuals, including public officials, had access
to the sensitive information in these files. Act 1983-750 increased the
likelihood that the Board would receive useful, but sensitive, information from
crime victims and public officials. The context of this Act indicates that the
Legislature intended for communications from these individuals to be kept
records maintained in the Board’s Minute Books are public records. As provided
herein, copies of the Board’s dockets, including a record of the action taken,
will be filed in the Board’s Minutes for public inspection.
Orders granting pardons, with or without restoration of civil and political
rights, paroles, or remissions of fines or forfeitures are public records. The
statement of reasons filed by each member voting in favor of such grant are
public records, as well as the statement of reasons for denying parole.
Flexibility in Responding to Crises
the Board determines that circumstances exist manifesting a critical need for
the Board to expedite parole consideration, the Board may direct its staff to
implement these procedures, consistent with available resources.
staff will survey the prison population, with a view toward assisting the Board
in exercising its discretion in setting priorities for special dockets. The
designated staff will consider the seriousness of the inmate’s prior criminal
history, the nature and severity of the current offense, potential for future
violence, as well as community attitude, and may consider events occurring
since incarceration. These designees are authorized to reschedule parole
consideration, within parameters established by the Board.
Board may set criteria for Special Dockets. These criteria will be adopted by
special order of the Board, entered into the Minutes.
staff will be assigned to initially screen files that appear to meet these
criteria. These cases will be divided into two categories: those that clearly
are excluded and those that are clearly not excluded from the Special Docket. Cases
that are clearly excluded from the Special Docket will remain scheduled for
parole consideration on the tentative dockets previously established according
to these procedures, except as otherwise provided herein. Cases that are not
excluded from the Special Docket will be docketed on the next available docket.
staff involved in Special Docket reviews will meet frequently and consult with
other staff as appropriate, and will ensure that the Executive Director and the
Board are kept apprised of their progress and of any potential obstacles.
victim notification cases may be screened by a staff member in the Victim
Services Unit, who may direct the Victim Service Unit to expedite notice in
cases where the information appears to be current, even if there are other
cases more overdue. This officer may also screen backlogged cases to determine
whether any other backlogged case should be expedited, and if so, he/she may
direct that such case be processed.