Most inmates serving life sentences in California are, or will become, eligible for parole. But before they can be released on parole, they must attend a Parole Board Hearing (sometimes called a "lifer" hearing) and be found suitable.
Our criminal defense attorneys represent inmates at these California Parole Board Hearings, in an effort to help secure their release.
Parole is a supervision program that begins once an inmate is released from state prison.1 It requires the "parolee" to abide by certain terms and conditions. Any violation of these parole terms can result in a California parole violation / revocation hearing.and in a possible return to prison.
Although parole is often confused with probation, the two are, in fact, quite different. California probation is part of the sentencing scheme.2 Parole refers to the period following one's release from prison.
- are sentenced to "life without the possibility of parole", or
- pose too great a threat to public safety.
Sometimes inmates are automatically placed on parole, while other times they must earn parole. If a defendant is sentenced to what we call a determinate sentence, he/she will be placed on parole automatically at the completion of that sentence. A "determinate" sentence is a sentence for a specific number of years (for example, a 7-year sentence).
If, however, a defendant is sentenced to an indeterminate sentence, the California parole board plays a large role in determining if/when that individual will be paroled. An "indeterminate" sentence is an indefinite sentence (sometimes referred to as a life sentence). Indeterminate sentences are generally expressed in both a determinate and indeterminate fashion. "25 years to life" is an example of a common indeterminate sentence."25" is the determinate; "life" is the indeterminate.
In this article, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys3 will explain the process by which the California parole board (formally referred to as the Board of Parole Hearings) determines when an individual is eligible for release. In order to help you best understand these parole suitability hearings (commonly called "lifer" hearings), we will address the following:
(Click on a title to proceed directly to that section)
If, after reading this article, you would like additional information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
You may also find helpful information in our related article on California Law of Probation Violation Hearings.
Simply put, parole is the period immediately following one's release from the state prison. When an inmate is released on parole, he/she agrees to abide by certain parole terms and conditions (discussed in detail below under section 4. Parole Conditions and Requirements.
But when is an inmate eligible for parole? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question, because it depends on a number of different factors.
The first factor depends on what type of sentence the inmate received.
If the sentence was determinate -- that is, a sentence for a specific period of time -- the inmate must be paroled at the conclusion of that sentence. And even that isn't a hard and fast rule.
This is because of two considerations: (1) good time / work time credits, and (2) a refusal to agree to the terms of parole.
Good time / work time credit
Good time /work time credits allow an inmate to earn a reduced sentence. Almost all inmates are entitled to earn these credits, the only exceptions are those who (1) have been convicted of murder, or (2) have been convicted and incarcerated for two or more felonies.4
Good time / work time credits can reduce a sentence by 15%, by 33%, or by as much as 50%, depending on the crime for which the inmate was convicted. This time is subtracted from the inmate's determinate sentence and that is when the inmate will be released on parole.
Refusal to accept parole conditions
If an inmate who successfully completes his/her determinate sentence refuses to accept his/her parole conditions, the parole board will revoke the parole. As a result, the inmate will remain in prison up to an additional six months.5
By contrast to a determinate sentence, a defendant could receive an indeterminate sentence. An "indeterminate" sentence (also called a life sentence) is a sentence for an indefinite amount of time.
"25 years to life" is an example of a sentence that includes an indeterminate part. "25" is the determinate part of the sentence; "to life" is the indeterminate.
When inmates are sentenced to indeterminate sentences, they are eligible for parole once they serve the determinate part of the sentence. But just because an inmate becomes eligible for parole doesn't mean that is when he/she is guaranteed parole.it's just the earliest possible time when he/she can be released on parole.
Occasionally a judge will sentence a defendant to "life with the possibility of parole". When this is the case.which is really an older method of sentencing.there is no determinate part of the sentence. Under these circumstances, the minimum eligible parole date is typically seven years into the sentence.
But before an inmate will be released from his/her indeterminate sentence, the Board of Parole Hearings must conduct a hearing to determine whether he/she is ready to "re-enter" society without posing an unnecessary public safety risk. This hearing is formally called a parole suitability hearing (although many refer to it as a California Parole Board Hearing or "lifer" hearing) and is the focus of this article.
When an inmate "comes up for parole", he/she attends a California Board of Parole Hearing. These "lifer" hearings are automatically set one year prior to an inmate's minimum eligible parole date.6 It bears repeating that an inmate's "minimum eligible parole date" depends on the different sentencing factors outlined above.
The fact that an inmate automatically receives a parole hearing doesn't mean he/she will automatically receive parole. According to Oakland criminal defense lawyer Jim Hammer7, "It's not at all uncommon to attend multiple parole board hearings before actually being paroled.in fact, it's probably the norm. Many times the board just sets these hearings out of necessity without any real intention of granting parole."
Prior to 2008, inmates convicted of murder could be denied parole up to five years at a time and those convicted of all other crimes could be denied parole up to two years at a time.8 Currently, parole may be denied in increments of between three to fifteen years, depending on the circumstances of the offense.9
The California Board of Parole Hearings
The California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) (previously referred to as the Board of Prison Terms) conducts California parole lifer hearings. This board is responsible for deciding who is released on parole and for determining the conditions of parole for those they find eligible.
This means that the governor's political agenda will likely dictate who will be released and who will remain incarcerated. And while a "renegade" board may nonetheless grant or deny parole to whomever they wish, the law allows the governor to override a board's ruling with respect to those convicted of murder. The governor is entitled to take this action as long as there is "some evidence" to support his decision.10
For example, at one point under Gray Davis's administration, the courts believed that Davis was automatically denying parole to anyone who was convicted of murder -- an unlawful policy. He was notorious for vetoing parole decisions when convicted murderers were going to be released.11
Today, by way of comparison, Governor Schwarzenegger's parole board is much more liberal about paroling inmates. According to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, in 2009 alone, the board granted twice as many paroles as the year before, which was also equal to the number of paroles from the previous three years combined.
The purpose of parole suitability "lifer" hearings
The purpose of a Parole Board "lifer" hearing is to decide if an inmate can return safely to society.12 The inmate is entitled to an attorney to help convince the board that he/she is ready to be paroled. The D.A. usually attends this hearing as well, either supporting or opposing parole.
Public safety is supposed to be the overriding concern in a California parole hearing. So while it is important to impose comparable punishment on people who commit the same crimes, this doesn't always happen.
Sometimes someone may have been paroled for committing a similar crime to someone being denied parole. If the parole board is able to justify their decision to deny parole because they believe the particular inmate poses more of a safety risk than the paroled individual, California parole law holds that that is okay.13
In order to determine whether an individual is ready for parole, the board considers factors that include (but are not limited to)14:
- all of the circumstances of the "commitment offense" (the crime for which the inmate was given the life sentence),
- the inmate's level of remorse for the crime,
- the inmate's behavior in prison (both positive and negative),
- the inmate's involvement in in-house counseling and/or treatment programs,
- psychological and counseling reports,
- the inmate's parole plans (how the inmate plans to re-enter the community -- where he/she will live and work, how he/she plans to remain productive, sober, etc.), and
- input from the victim, the victim's family, and/or any other representatives speaking on the victim's behalf.
Victims' rights during California parole hearings
On November 4, 2008, voters passed "Marsy's Law". This law expanded victims' rights in criminal, juvenile, and parole proceedings. With respect to California board parole "lifer" hearings, Marsy's Law addresses the following15:
- it requires the Board of Parole Hearings to listen to the entire and uninterrupted testimony of the victim, victim's family, and victim's representatives,
- it allows victims, a victim's family, and the victim's representatives to attend parole board hearings without being questioned by the inmate or his/her attorney, and
- it requires the board to consider a victim's safety in determining whether to grant, deny, or rescind parole (parole rescission is explained below under Section 3).
Factors that may render an inmate "unsuitable" for parole
When the board determines whether to grant or deny parole, public safety is supposed to be its primary consideration. Just as it takes the above factors into consideration as to why an inmate should be paroled, it also considers factors that weigh against parole.
Some of the factors that may render an inmate unsuitable for parole include (but are not limited to)16:
- the fact that the crime was committed in a particularly cruel or heinous manner,
- the inmate has an unstable social history,
- the inmate has a prior record for violence, and
- that the inmate has engaged in serious misconduct while in prison.
Keep in mind that unless the board determines that these factors outweigh public safety, the board is required to parole those life inmates who are now eligible for parole.17
Sometimes after the board determines that it will grant an inmate parole, it changes its mind. This process is known as parole rescission. Sometimes the board initiates a parole rescission, and sometimes it's the governor who initiates the process.18
Once again, the standard for rescinding parole is the "some evidence" standard. The parole board must simply have "some evidence" that the facts or circumstances are such that even though it at one time believed parole was appropriate, it no longer does.19 And although public outcry can cause the board to reconsider granting an inmate parole, that alone can't alone be the basis for rescission.20
Reasons why parole may be rescinded include21:
- disciplinary conduct by the inmate while incarcerated,
- psychiatric deterioration of the inmate, and
- any new information that indicates that parole would be a public safety concern.
Once placed on parole, a "parolee" must abide by certain conditions and requirements.22 The failure to do so will result in a parole revocation hearing, discussed in detail in our related article "California Parole Revocation Hearings".and in possible reincarceration.
Some of the most common parole terms include (but are not limited to):
- consenting to be searched at any time with or without a California search warrant and with or without cause23,
- agreeing to live within designated county limits24,
- agreeing to register with local authorities (this applies to those who are required to register as sex offenders pursuant to California Penal Code 290 PC, to those who have been convicted of California Penal Code 451 PC arson, and to those who are convicted of certain California drug crimes)25, and
- conditions that relate to the specific offense, including, for example, restrictions that prohibit
- using or being around designated weapons,
- accessing the Internet (usually a condition imposed on those convicted of violating California's child pornography laws26 and/or other similar offenses), or
- associating with gang members27.
The board will revoke parole from any inmate who refuses to agree to his/her parole terms. Under these circumstances, the inmate will remain in prison a maximum of six months.28
If, once an inmate has been paroled, he/she fails to abide by any of these terms, he/she will likely face a parole violation hearing. Additionally, being arrested for a new offense (even if no criminal charges are actually filed) subjects you to a parole revocation hearing as well.
Call us for help
If you or a loved one is in need of help with parole hearing and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.
Our Nevada criminal defense attorneys have law offices located in Las Vegas and Reno and are available to represent you at Nevada parole board and violation hearings as well.29
1California Penal Code 3000 -- Parole. ("(a)(1) The Legislature finds and declares that the period immediately following incarceration is critical to successful reintegration of the offender into society and to positive citizenship. It is in the interest of public safety for the state to provide for the effective supervision of and surveillance of parolees, including the judicious use of revocation actions, and to provide educational, vocational, family and personal counseling necessary to assist parolees in the transition between imprisonment and discharge. A sentence pursuant to [California Penal Code] Section 1168 or 1170 shall include a period of parole, unless waived, or as otherwise provided in this article.")
2California Penal Code 1203 -- Probation. ("(a) As used in this code, "probation" means the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of conditional and revocable release in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. As used in this code, "conditional sentence" means the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of revocable release in the community subject to conditions established by the court without the supervision of a probation officer. It is the intent of the Legislature that both conditional sentence and probation are authorized whenever probation is authorized in any code as a sentencing option for infractions or misdemeanors.")
3Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys have offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.
4California Penal Code 2933 -- Work time credits. ("(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that persons convicted of a crime and sentenced to the state prison under [California Penal Code] Section 1170 serve the entire sentence imposed by the court, except for a reduction in the time served in the custody of the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to this section and Section 2933.05. (b) For every six months of continuous incarceration, a prisoner shall be awarded credit reductions from his or her term of confinement of six months. A lesser amount of credit based on this ratio shall be awarded for any lesser period of continuous incarceration. Credit should be awarded pursuant to regulations adopted by the secretary. Prisoners who are denied the opportunity to earn credits [towards his/her California parole] pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2932 shall be awarded no credit reduction pursuant to this section. Under no circumstances shall any prisoner receive more than six months' credit reduction for any six-month period under this section.")
See also California Penal Code 2933.2 -- Murder; worktime credit. ("(a) Notwithstanding Section 2933.1 or any other law, any person who is convicted of murder, as defined in Section 187, shall not accrue any credit [towards early California parole], as specified in Section 2933 or Section 2933.05.")
See also California Penal Code 2933.5 -- Persons ineligible to receive credit. ("(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, every person who is convicted of any felony offense listed in paragraph (2), and who previously has been convicted two or more times, on charges separately brought and tried, and who previously has served two or more separate prior prison terms, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 667.5, of any offense or offenses listed in paragraph (2), shall be ineligible to earn credit on his or her term of imprisonment pursuant to this article." The code then goes on to list all of the crimes that render an individual ineligible for California parole release.
5California Penal Code 3060.5 -- Revocation; refusal to sign parole agreements. ("Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the parole authority shall revoke the parole of any prisoner who refuses to sign a parole agreement [during a parole lifer hearing] setting forth the general and any special conditions applicable to the parole, refuses to sign any form required by the Department of Justice stating that the duty of the prisoner to register under [California Penal Code] Section 290 has been explained to the prisoner, unless the duty to register has not been explained to the prisoner, or refuses to provide samples of blood or saliva as required by the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 295) of Title 9 of Part 1), and shall order the prisoner returned to prison. Confinement pursuant to any single revocation of parole under this section shall not, absent a new conviction and commitment to prison under other provisions of law, exceed six months, except as provided in subdivision (c) of [California Penal Code] Section 3057.")
6California Penal Code 3041 PC -- California parole release dates. ("One year prior to the inmate's minimum eligible parole release date a panel of two or more commissioners or deputy commissioners shall again meet with the inmate and shall normally set a parole release date as provided in [California Penal Code] Section 3041.5. [a process known as a California parole "lifer" hearing]. No more than one member of the panel shall be a deputy commissioner. In the event of a tie vote, the matter shall be referred for an en banc review of the record that was before the panel that rendered the tie vote. Upon en banc review, the board shall vote to either grant or deny parole and render a statement of decision. The en banc review shall be conducted pursuant to subdivision (e). The release date shall be set in a manner that will provide uniform terms for offenses of similar gravity and magnitude with respect to their threat to the public, and that will comply with the sentencing rules that the Judicial Council may issue and any sentencing information relevant to the setting of parole release dates. The board shall establish criteria for the setting of parole release dates and in doing so shall consider the number of victims of the crime for which the inmate was sentenced and other factors in mitigation or aggravation of the crime.")
7Oakland criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer uses his inside knowledge as a former San Francisco Deputy District Attorney to represent clients at parole "lifer" hearings in the Northern California Bay Area.
8California Penal Code 3041.5 -- Hearings; rights of prisoners (Historical and statutory notes). ("Initiative Measure (Prop. 9) rewrote this section, which read:."The [California parole] board shall hear each case annually thereafter [in a parole "lifer" hearing], except the board may schedule the next hearing no later than the following: "(A) Two years after any hearing at which parole is denied if the board finds that it is not reasonable to expect that parole would be granted at a hearing during the following year and states the bases for the finding. "(B) Up to five years after any hearing at which parole is denied if the prisoner has been convicted of murder, and the board finds that it is not reasonable to expect that parole would be granted at a hearing during the following years and states the bases for the finding in writing. If the board defers a hearing five years, the prisoner's central file shall be reviewed by a deputy commissioner within three years at which time the deputy commissioner may direct that a hearing be held within one year. The prisoner shall be notified in writing of the deputy commissioner's decision. The board shall adopt procedures that relate to the criteria for setting the hearing between two and five years.")
10In re Rosenkrantz (2002) 29 Cal.4th 616, 658. ("Before the addition of article V, section 8(b), to the California Constitution in November 1988 by initiative (Proposition 89), the power to grant or deny parole was statutory and committed exclusively to the judgment and discretion of the Board. ( In re Fain (1983) 145 Cal.App.3d 540, 548-550 [193 Cal.Rptr. 483].) The Governor had no direct role in decisions whether to grant or deny parole to an incarcerated individual. By adding article V, section 8(b), to the California Constitution, the voters conferred upon the Governor constitutional authority to review the Board's decisions concerning the parole of individuals who have been convicted of murder and are serving indeterminate sentences for that offense".[and on 667], "Accordingly, we conclude that the courts properly can review a Governor's decisions whether to affirm, modify, or reverse parole decisions by the Board to determine whether they comply with due process of law, and that such review properly can include a determination of whether the factual basis of such a decision is supported by some evidence in the record that was before the Board.")
11See same at 616. ("The trial court granted the petition after concluding that there was no evidence supporting the Governor's decision, and that the Governor's decision was based upon an impermissible general policy of automatically denying parole to prisoners convicted of murder." [and at 684] "The trial court relied upon the following evidence in concluding that the Governor has a policy of denying parole to prisoners serving a life term, regardless of the circumstances. An article appearing in the April 9, 1999, edition of the Los Angeles Times stated: "[I]n an interview, the governor was adamant that he believes murderers-even those with second-degree convictions-should serve at least a life sentence in prison. Asked whether extenuating circumstances should be a factor in murder sentences, the governor was blunt: 'No. Zero,' he said." (Lesher, Davis Takes Hard Line on Parole for Killers, L.A. Times, supra, at p. A-3.) The article further quoted the Governor as stating: " 'They must not have been listening when I was campaigning.... If you take someone else's life, forget it. I just think people dismiss what I said in the campaign as either political hyperbole or something that I would back away from.... We are doing exactly what we said we were going to do.' ")
12In re Hudson (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1, 9 ("The fundamental goals of parole are " 'to help individuals reintegrate into society as constructive individuals' [citation], ' "to end criminal careers through the rehabilitation of those convicted of crime" ' [citation] and to [help them] become self-supporting [which are evaluated during a California parole suitability hearing].'' ( Stevens, supra, 119 Cal.App.4th 1228, 1233, 15 Cal.Rptr.3d 168.)")
13California Penal Code 3041 PC -- California parole release dates. ("(a).The release date shall be set in a manner that will provide uniform terms for offenses of similar gravity and magnitude with respect to their threat to the public, and that will comply with the sentencing rules that the Judicial Council may issue and any sentencing information relevant to the setting of parole release dates. The board shall establish criteria for the setting of parole release dates and in doing so shall consider the number of victims of the crime for which the inmate was sentenced and other factors in mitigation or aggravation of the crime.(b) The panel or the board, sitting en banc, shall set a release date unless it determines that the gravity of the current convicted offense or offenses, or the timing and gravity of current or past convicted offense or offenses, is such that consideration of the public safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for this individual, and that a parole date, therefore, cannot be fixed at this meeting.")
14In re Ross (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 1490, 1503. ("The Board's regulations set forth nine factors tending to show suitability for release on parole [which will be evaluated during a California parole "lifer" hearing]: (1) the absence of a juvenile record; (2) a history of reasonably stable social relationships with others; (3) tangible signs of remorse; (4) the commission of the crime resulted from significant stress, especially if the stress had built over a long period of time; (5) battered woman syndrome; (6) a lack of a history of violent crime; (7) increased age, which reduces the probability of recidivism; (8) marketable skills and reasonable plans for the future; and (9) responsible institutional behavior [factors that are all taken into consideration during a California parole suitability hearing]. (2402, subd. (d).)")
See also In re Rosenkrantz at 682, endnote 10, above. ("We agree with petitioner that, although the state expects prisoners to behave well in prison, the absence of serious misconduct in prison and participation in institutional activities that indicate an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release are factors that must be considered on an individual basis by the Governor in determining parole suitability. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15, 2402, subds. (c), (d); In re Minnis, supra, 7 Cal.3d 639, 645.)")
15Victims' Bill of Rights Law 2008 - Marsy's Law.
16See Rosenkrantz at 653, endnote 10, above. ("According to the applicable regulation, circumstances tending to establish unsuitability for parole are that the prisoner (1) committed the offense in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner; FN11 (2) possesses a previous record of violence; (3) has an unstable social history; (4) previously has sexually assaulted another individual in a sadistic manner; (5) has a lengthy history of severe mental problems related to the offense; and (6) has engaged in serious misconduct while in prison. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15, 2402, subd. (c).) FN11 Factors that support a finding that the prisoner committed the offense in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner include the following: (A) multiple victims were attacked, injured, or killed in the same or separate incidents; (B) the offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner, such as an execution-style murder; (C) the victim was abused, defiled, or mutilated during or after the offense; (D) the offense was carried out in a manner that demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering; and (E) the motive for the crime is inexplicable or very trivial in relation to the offense. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15, 2402, subd. (c)(1).)")
17In re Dannenberg (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1061, 1077. ("For decades before 1977, California employed an "indeterminate" sentencing system for felonies. The court imposed a statutory sentence expressed as a range between a minimum and maximum period of confinement-often life imprisonment-the offender must serve. An inmate's actual period of incarceration within this range was under the exclusive control of the parole authority, which focused, primarily, not on the appropriate punishment for the original offense, but on the offender's progress toward rehabilitation. During most of this period, parole dates were not set, and prisoners had no idea when their confinement would end, until the moment the parole authority decided they were ready for release. (See People v. Jefferson (1999) 21 Cal.4th 86, 94-95, 86 Cal.Rptr.2d 893, 980 P.2d 441 ( Jefferson ); Cassou & Taugher, Determinate Sentencing in California: The New Numbers Game (1978) 9 Pacific L.J. 5, 6-16 (Cassou & Taugher).)")
18In re Rosenkrantz at 659, endnote 10, above. (" .the Board itself retains the authority to rescind the grant of parole for good cause prior to the prisoner's release ([California] Pen. Code, 3041.5, 3041.7), and the Governor may bring to the Board's attention any information that may warrant the rescission of parole.")
19In re Powell (1988) 45 Cal.3d 894, 902. ("Cause for rescission [following a California parole "lifer" hearing] may exist if the BPT reasonably determines, in its discretion, that parole was "improvidently granted" under the circumstances that appeared at the time of the grant, or that may have appeared since. The board's decision must have a factual basis, and may not be based on "whim, caprice, or rumor.".[and at 903] "We turn, then, to the question whether a parole rescission must be supported by substantial evidence or merely by "some" evidence. California case law, although sparse on this subject, suggests the latter. As stated above, the BPT enjoys broad but not absolute discretion in parole-related matters. (See In re Stanworth (1982) 33 Cal.3d 176, 181 et seq. [187 Cal.Rptr. 783, 654 P.2d 1311]; In re Rodriguez (1975) 14 Cal.3d 639, 651-653 [122 Cal.Rptr. 552, 537 P.2d 384].) Like its predecessors, it is "not required to proceed with the formality required of the courts." ( Matter of Application of Stanton (1915) 169 Cal. 607, 609 [147 P. 264].) In the only California case specifically addressing the present question, the Court of Appeal rejected the "standard sufficiency of the evidence rule" and held that a parole rescission was an abuse of discretion only when the authority acted "without information, fraudulently, or on mere personal caprice." ( In re Spence (1974) 36 Cal.App.3d 636, 639-640 [111 Cal.Rptr. 782].) We agree with this conclusion.")
20See same at 903. ("Moreover, although public outcry may properly trigger reconsideration of a parole-granting decision and an inquiry into whether the decision was an abuse of discretion, the board may not rely on public outrage to rescind parole. ( Fain II, supra, 139 Cal.App.3d at p. 310.)
21In re Fain (1976) 65 Cal.App.3d 376, 392. ("It also correctly stated that "[t]he Authority's rules set out three grounds upon which a parole rescission may be based: (1) Disciplinary conduct by the inmate; (2) Psychiatric deterioration of the inmate; and (3) Any new information which indicates that parole should not occur."")
22See In re Hudson at 9, endnote 12, above. ("We first observe that "[i]n California, parolee status carries distinct disadvantages when compared to the situation of the law-abiding citizen. Even when released from actual confinement, a parolee is still constructively a prisoner subject to correctional authorities. [Citations.] The United States Supreme Court has characterized parole as 'an established variation on imprisonment' and a parolee as possessing 'not ... the absolute liberty to which every citizen is entitled, but only ... the conditional liberty properly dependent on observance of special parole restrictions.'")
23California Penal Code 3067 PC -- Search and Seizure issues for parolees. ("(a) Any inmate who is eligible for release on parole pursuant to this chapter shall agree in writing to be subject to search or seizure by a parole officer or other peace officer at any time of the day or night, with or without a [California] search warrant and with or without cause. (b) Any inmate who does not comply with the provision of subdivision (a) shall lose worktime credit earned pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2930) of Chapter 7 on a day-for-day basis and shall not be released until he or she either complies with the provision of subdivision (a) or has no remaining worktime credit, whichever occurs earlier. (c) This section shall only apply to an inmate who is eligible for release on parole for an offense committed on or after January 1, 1997. (d) It is not the intent of the Legislature to authorize law enforcement officers to conduct searches for the sole purpose of harassment. (e) This section does not affect the power of the Director of Corrections to prescribe and amend rules and regulations pursuant to Section 5058.")
24California Penal Code 3003 PC -- Parole; geographic placement. This penal code section lists a variety of circumstances and offenses that have very specific requirements of where a parolee may reside. Typically, a parolee must be returned to the county in which he/she resided prior to incarceration, however public safety will trump that rule. This means that if, for example, the parolee was convicted of a violent crime.and the victim resides less than 35 miles from the offender's prior residence.the parolee may be required to move.
25California Penal Code 290 PC -- Sex offender registration act. PC 290 sets forth the requirements that someone who must register as a California sex offender must follow.
See also California Penal Code 457.1 -- Arson and attempted arson; persons convicted of arson; registration while residing California. This Penal Code section specifically addresses the variety of conditions that are imposed upon someone who has been convicted of Penal Code 451 arson.
See also California Health and Safety Code 11590 -- Persons required to register. This code sets forth the registration requirements for parolees who were convicted of specific California drug crimes.
26California child pornography laws under California Penal Code 311 and its related sections prohibit: distributing child pornography, employing minors to participate in or help produce child porn, possessing child porn, advertising child pornography, and developing, duplicating, printing, or exchanging child porn. For purposes of California child pornography laws, a "child" is anyone under 18, unless he/she is an emancipated minor or involved in lawful conduct between spouses when either or both of the individuals are under 18.
27See In re Hudson at 9, endnote 12, above. (""A condition of [parole] will not be held invalid unless it '(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not in itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality....' [Citation.] Conversely, a condition of [parole] which requires or forbids conduct which is not itself criminal is valid if that conduct is reasonably related to the crime of which the defendant was convicted or to future criminality." ( People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 486, fn. omitted, 124 Cal.Rptr. 905, 541 P.2d 545.) FN5 FN5. The Lent case concerned conditions of probation. As the court in Stevens noted, "[t]he criteria for assessing the constitutionality of conditions of probation also applies to conditions of parole." ( Stevens, supra, 119 Cal.App.4th 1228, 1233, 15 Cal.Rptr.3d 168.)")
28California Penal Code 3060.5 -- Revocation; refusal to sign parole agreements. ("Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the parole authority shall revoke the parole of any prisoner who refuses to sign a parole agreement setting forth the general and any special conditions applicable to the parole, refuses to sign any form required by the Department of Justice stating that the duty of the prisoner to register under [California Penal Code] Section 290 has been explained to the prisoner, unless the duty to register has not been explained to the prisoner, or refuses to provide samples of blood or saliva as required by the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 295) of Title 9 of Part 1), and shall order the prisoner returned to prison. Confinement pursuant to any single revocation of parole under this section shall not, absent a new conviction and commitment to prison under other provisions of law, exceed six months, except as provided in subdivision (c) of [California Penal Code]Section 3057.")
29Please feel free to contact our Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Neil Shouse for any questions relating to Nevada parole suitability hearings or for general questions relating to Nevada parole law.