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A closer look at how Georgia's parole process works - II

In a previous post, we began examining the parole process here in Georgia in the hopes of providing both those who are currently incarcerated and their loved ones with a better understanding of how exactly the Parole Board arrives at decisions to grant inmates early release from prison.  

Specifically, we discussed who is ineligible for parole under state law, as well as some important points to keep in mind about the process. In today's post, we'll continue this discussion by taking a closer look at the pre-parole investigation.

Before any sort of decision can be made regarding the granting of parole, the Board will have its parole investigator conduct a comprehensive examination of the inmate in question and prepare a case file.

During the first step of the process, the parole investigator will draft what is known as the legal investigation report for review by the Board. This document essentially provides detailed information on an inmate's criminal history, focusing largely on the offense for which they are currently incarcerated. Here, the parole investigator will review both court and arrest records, and conduct interviews with interested parties, such as law enforcement officials, witnesses and victims.

The parole investigator next interviews the inmate, asking a series of question about their background, their plans for the future, and, of course, their crime. They then prepare what is known as personal history statement questionnaire summarizing this interview for the Board's review.

After a sort of preliminary review of these and other documents, the Board will elect to either 1) deny parole altogether or 2) establish as a tentative parole month or TPM.

At the designated TPM, the Board will conduct its final review of the inmate's case file and, if necessary, set a date for parole.

It's important to note that during the TPM, the Board will examine what is known as the parole review summary drafted by the Department of Corrections. This document essentially details the inmate's experience behind bars up to the current juncture, outlining their behavior, attitude, mental state, work performance and participation in self-improvement programs.       

A few important points to consider include:

  • Psychiatric or psychological interviews can be requested by the Board
  • Disciplinary reports, information from the FBI and Georgia Crime Information Center, relevant correspondence and a host of other documents can also be considered by the Board
  • The Board prepares and maintains files separately from the Department of Corrections

We'll continue discussing this topic in future posts.

Please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible if you are under investigation or have been charged with a felony, as your reputation and your future are at stake.

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