Parole Process for Victims
In order to ensure notification of parole hearings
or of an inmate release, address changes must be
provided to the Board as soon as possible.
Parole Process for Victims
The General Laws of Rhode Island (12-28-6) affords crime victims the opportunity to address the Parole Board regarding the impact of the crime.
The Parole Process
Parole in Rhode Island applies to those inmates serving a sentence of more than six (6) months. Most inmates are eligible for a parole hearing after serving one third (1/3) of a court-ordered prison sentence. This means one third (1/3) of the jail portion of the total sentence. The Department of Corrections calculates parole eligibility dates. Once determined, staff at the Parole Board Office begin to assemble a file of information on each parole-eligible inmate. Various agencies contribute information to these files, including the Attorney General's Office, the local and state police departments, the courts, and the Department of Corrections. Letters submitted from family, friends, victims, potential employers and others may be included in these files.
All information compiled for an inmate appearing before the Board is provided to the Parole Board Members in advance of any parole hearing.
Victims who wish to give input to the Board may do so in person or in writing and may contact a Victim Advocate who works with the Board in advance of a hearing.
The Parole Board strives to be victim centered and welcomes victim impact. Information from a victim of crime (or immediate family members of a minor or deceased victim of crime) helps the Board to understand and appreciate the effects of the crime and on the victims. Input from victims often times provides information that might otherwise not be available.
Please contact our Victim Advocate if you wish to schedule a meeting with the Board to provide in-person input on your case. The meeting affords victims the opportunity to ask the Board questions. In this way the victims gain a better understanding of the parole process and the prison systems. If an inmate is granted parole release, the victim's point of view has played an important part in shaping the conditions of that parole.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: If an inmate is eligible by law for a parole hearing, is he/she automatically granted parole release?
A: NO. A parole hearing is not an automatics guarantee of parole. There are times when the Board could grant parole at the first hearing OR the Board may vote to deny parole and then decide whether or when to reconsider the inmate in the future.
- Q: Is an inmate given another opportunity to apply for parole release?
A: YES. If the parole is denied, the Board considers whether and/or when to reconsider an inmate in the future.
- Q: Will the victim be notified again of the scheduled meeting or future hearings?
A: YES. Notice of the parole hearing or a future reconsideration hearing is sent to all victims on file for the case(s) before the Board at last know addresses. In order to ensure notification of parole hearings or release, address changes must be provided to the Board as soon as possible. A parole eligibility list is also posted each month on the website.
- Q: What factors are considered/How does the Board arrive at its decision?
A: The Board considers a host of factors including the nature and seriousness of the offense, victim impact, criminal history, institutional adjustment, behavioral changes, risk assessments(s), release plan, community safety and treatment needs to name a few. See the Related Links section on this website for more information.
- Q: How does the victim and the inmate receive notice of the Board's decision?
A: The inmate is provided a written notice of the Board's decision through his/her institutional counselor. Victims can obtain information about a parole decision by contacting the Parole Board Victim Advocate ((401) 462-0914). If an inmate is granted parole, written notice of the release is sent to all victims in the case at the last known address on file. It is important to keep your address updated with the he Parole Board Office. Parole Board decisions are also posted on the RI Secretary of State's website http://sos.ri.gov/openmeetings and anyone can register for an automated VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday) by calling (877)744-8463.
- Q: Does the Board have the authority to set special restrictions on a parolee?
A: YES. The Board may and typically does impose special parole conditions such as GPS Monitoring, counseling (mental health, substance abuse addiction, sexual offender treatment, etc.), home confinement or other conditions that address the safe and successful re-entry of the offender.
What happens if the parolee does not follow the parole conditions?
A: If a parolee violates any condition of parole, including arrest for a new charge, the Board can impose a sanction or issue a warrant for his/her arrest. Upon arrest, the inmate will be returned to the ACI for a parole revocation hearing before the Board.
Please contact the Parole Board Office if you wish to report a name or address change.
If you have any questions or need additional information you may telephone the Parole Board Office at:
TEL: (401) 462-0900
FAX: (401) 462-0915
Mathias Building Bldg. #56
2 Regan Court
Cranston, RI 02920