Who is eligible for parole under California’s “Elderly Parole Program”?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Beginning on January 1, 2018, inmates aged 60 and older who have been in prison for at least 25 consecutive years may be eligible for California's “Elderly Parole Program.”

The Elderly Parole Program is set forth in California Penal Code section 3055. It was authorized by passage of California Assembly Bill 1448 (“AB 1448”) in 2017.

It is a supplement to, rather than a replacement of, California's regular parole procedure.

Conditions for Elderly Parole

To be eligible for Elderly Parole an inmate must:

  • Be 60 years of age or older,
  • Have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration on his or her current sentence; and
  • Be otherwise eligible and suitable for parole.

In deciding whether parole is suitable, the Parole Board will consider whether the inmate's risk for future violence has been reduced by:

  • Age,
  • Time served, and/or
  • Diminished physical condition, if any.

Who is NOT eligible for Elderly Parole?

A prisoner is not eligible for Elderly Parole in California if:

  • He or she was sentenced under Penal Code 1170.12., California’s “Three Strikes” law;
  • He or she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or to death;
  • He or she was convicted of the first-degree murder of a peace officer who the prisoner knew (or reasonably should have known) was engaged in the performance of his/her duties, or
  • He or she was convicted of the first-degree murder of a former peace officer in retaliation for the performance of his or her official duties.How does someone apply for Elderly Parole in California?

How does someone apply for elderly parole in California?

Elderly Parole can be requested either:

  • At a regularly scheduled parole hearing, or
  • By requesting an advance parole hearing once the inmate becomes eligible for Elderly Parole.

In all other respects, an Elderly Parole hearing is the same as a regular parole hearing.

Both the inmate and any victims (or the victims' family members or representative) will be permitted to be present and to speak.

If the board then finds that the inmate is suitable for parole, the inmate will be released.

If parole is not granted, the board will revisit whether elderly parole is appropriate at the inmate's next parole hearing.

For more information, we invite you to view our article on California’s parole laws.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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