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Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions


Parole is a conditional release from a correctional institution under a contractual agreement between the Commission of Pardons and Parole and a convicted felon.
There is no right to parole in Idaho. Parole is granted at the discretion of the Parole Commissioners and is based on a variety of factors. For more information on what factors are considered, click here.
When on probation, the probationer is under the jurisdiction of the Courts and any matters regarding the probation and their performance on supervision is handled by the Courts. When on parole, the parolee is under the jurisdiction of the Commission of Pardons and Parole and any matters regarding their performance on parole is handled by the Commission of Pardons and Parole. Supervision of both probationers and parolees is carried out by the same authority; the Idaho Department of Correction.
The Parole Commissioners are citizens of the state of Idaho, appointed by the Governor to serve three (3) year terms in their capacity.
An offender is eligible for parole upon fulfilling the determinate (or fixed) portion of their sentence.
Parole Commission hearings are subject to the Idaho Open Meeting Law. Parole hearings for offenders scheduled to be seen in person by the Parole Commission are open to the public. No one under 16 years of age is allowed to attend parole hearings. Any exceptions must have prior approval from the Executive Director to attend a hearing. Parole hearings held in Executive Session are not open to the public per Idaho Code § 20-213A. You do have the right to submit written documentation for the Commission to review during Executive Session. If you plan on attending a parole hearing, we ask that you phone the Parole Commission office at (208)334-2520 at least 5 days prior to the hearing and let staff know you plan on attending.

For a list of requirements to enter an Idaho Department of Correction facility click here. You will not be required to go throught the application process, however, all other visiting rules do apply.
Upon and offender’s arrival in prison, a primary review is conducted and a parole hearing is scheduled. Approximately six (6) months prior to that parole hearing the offender will meet with a Parole Hearing Officer (PHO). The PHO will conduct and interview and investigation and write a very detailed report for the Parole Commissioners regarding the offender’s past, present, and plans for the future. Depending on the nature of the offense for which the offender is incarcerated, either a Commission Hearing or and Executive Session review will be conducted. If a Commission Hearing, the offender will appear in front of the Parole Commission, they will ask the offender questions, and both victims and offender support/witnesses will be offered an opportunity to testify. If and Executive Session review is conducted the offender will not be seen in person. Upon conclusion of either the Commission Hearing or the Executive Session review, the offender will be notified of their decision.
The Parole Commission has complete discretion to grant or deny parole in any individual case and there is no presumption, expectation or right that parole will be granted. The Idaho legislature has instructed the Parole Commission to promulgate rules that establish guidelines and procedures for parole decision-making. For more information regarding what factors contribute to the Parole Commission's decision to grant or deny an offender release on parole, click here.
A parole eligibility date is the earliest date that an offender may be eligible for parole release, which coincides with the date that the indeterminate portion of the offender's sentence begins. In the event there are multiple sentences, the sentence having the latest indeterminate begin date will be used as the offender's parole eligibility date.
A tentative parole date is the date set for the offender’s release if all pre-release requirements have been met by the offender including, but not limited to completion of required programming. The parole plan must have been investigated and approved, and all paperwork must be finalized. A tentative parole date is not firm, but is flexible, and unforeseen circumstances can result in the date being changed or voided.
A full term release date is the date an offender completes the term of sentence.
Several things happen between the Commission granting and inmate a tentative parole date and the inmate's release on parole. Those things include, but are not limited to:
  • The inmate reaching their parole eligibility date.
  • The inmate completing any required institutional programming.
  • The inmate's parole plan must be submitted to their District of proposed supervision.
  • The parole plan must be investigated and approved by their District of proposed supervision.
  • If the parole plan is not approved, the inmate must formulate a new parole plan and that plan must be investigated and approved.
  • The inmate must make transportation arragements from the institution to their parole destination.
  • The inmate's parole contract must be finalized.
  • The inmate must sign their parole contract.
Depending on the nature of your violation and level of compliance with conditions of supervision, anything from the issuing of a warning letter, to serving a period of incarceration to appearing in front of the Parole Commission at a Revocation Hearing can occur. Some examples of possible outcomes include, but are not limited to:
  • A hearing officer may reinstate your parole after the hearing.
  • You may be required to serve a period of incarceration, then returned to parole.
  • The Commission may revoke parole and require additional prison time.
  • The Commission may revoke parole and grant another tentative parole date.
  • The Commission may revoke parole and pass you to your full term date.
  • The Commission may reinstate parole.
If your violation results in you appearing in front of the Parole Commission at a Revocation Hearing, the Parole Commission can order you forfeit your time on parole. The amount of time forfeited is at the discretion of the Parole Commission, however, you will receive credit for all time spent in custody on your Agent/Commission Warrant. If a parolee is found guilty of absconding supervision, the number of days from the issuance of the commission’s warrant to the date of arrest will automatically be added to the full term release date, per Idaho Code 20-228.
Yes, the Parole Commission does consider requests for early discharge. Parolees serving sentences on sex crimes or violent crimes must serve one-third (1/3) of the remaining time from their parole release date to their maximum expiration date prior to requesting an early discharge from parole. Parolees serving all other sentences must serve at least one (1) year on parole before requesting an early discharge from parole. Parolees serving a life sentence for any crime must serve at least five years on parole before requesting an early discharge.

Early discharges requests must be submitted through the parolee’s parole officer.
Yes you will receive official notification upon fulfilling your sentence from the Parole Commission via U.S. mail. If your discharge is a result of fulfilling your sentence, you can expect to receive you paperwork within two (2) months of release. If your discharge is a result of the Parole Commission granting you an early discharge, your discharge is not effective until final paperwork is review, approved, and signed by the executive director. This process can take up to a month to be processed. For information regarding whether or not the Parole Commission’s granted your early discharge request, you can review Parole Commission decisions on our website by clicking here.