What are some of the factors that the parole board considers for eligibility?

A common misconception is that just because a convict is eligible for parole, he will be automatically released and paroled into the community. Equally, just because the convict has served enough of his jail term does not mean he will be released without review. Neither are accurate. The fact of the matter is that some inmates (e.g., Charles Manson) are never found suitable for parole and will serve the rest of their term inside the prison walls.

Public safety and assisting the offender in reintegrating into the community are the most important considerations in any parole decision. Is the inmate willing and ready to re-enter the community as a law-abiding citizen and contribute to a safer society? Can the inmate’s release back into society harm the general public? All relevant information is considered.

The parole board in its decision-making process will consider the following information and criteria about the inmate:

  • age,
  • mental stability,
  • marital status,
  • education or vocational training,
  • remorse for the offense,
  • time served on the current offense,
  • prior criminal history,
  • type and severity of offense,
  • behavior, habits, traits,
  • rehabilitative efforts/progress, and 
  • conduct during incarceration.