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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 read about the Parole Commission Decision Making.

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.


The Idaho Commission for Pardons and Parole has centralized the location from which the public can attend parole hearings.

Family members, victims, and other interested parties can attend all hearings at the South Idaho Correctional Center’s Parole Release Center.

Do not go to the facility at which the inmate is incarcerated. This applies to all IDOC facilities statewide.

The only location from which you can attend a parole commission hearing is the South Idaho Correctional Institution’s Parole Release Center. ****

If you plan to attend any open hearing, please notify the Commission office in advance at (208) 334-2520, or by email at  Please include the date of the hearing you wish to attend, the offender’s name, your relationship to the offender, and a contact phone number where you can be reached.

****Per IDAPA 50.01.01 206(c) “An attorney or others as determined by the Executive Director or Commission may be seated with the offender/parolee at the hearing.”

View a list of requirements to enter an Idaho Department of Correction facility. You will not be required to go through the application process, however, all other visiting rules do apply.

If you are unable to attend and would like to submit documentation for the Commission to review (i.e. letters of support, letters of opposition, residence verification, employment verification, etc.) we encourage you to do so. Per IDAPA Rule 50.04.06b, all written documents and letters to be considered must be submitted seven (7) days in advance of the scheduled hearing to ensure they are considered.

PLEASE NOTE: Communication sent to the Parole Commission may be public documents under the Idaho Public Records Act.

All information should be submitted to the Commission via email at

Upon an 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 Investigator (PHI). The PHI will conduct an 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 the 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, read about the Commission’s Decision Making.

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.

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 arrangements 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 investigator 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 the alleged violations are solely “technical” in nature (meaning there are no allegations of absconding or new criminal convictions), the hearing must be completed within 30 calendar days of the date the parolee is served with the alleged violations (provided with a copy of the Report of Parole Violation), pursuant to 20-229, Idaho Code. For non-technical violations, the 30-day time limit does not apply, but the hearing must be completed within a reasonable period of time following the date the parolee is served with the alleged violations. Generally, hearings for non-technical violations are still completed within 30 days.

Yes, with some exceptions. Some county jail facilities are not equipped to accommodate multiple parties, beyond the hearing officer and the supervising parole officer. In these situations, the hearing officer must defer to the facility commander to determine whether they can reasonably accommodate visitors without compromising security.

NOTE: If you are a witness to any of the allegations and intend to offer testimony during the hearing, it is important that you notify the hearing officer in advance of your intent to be present so that arrangements can be made to ensure you have the opportunity to testify. It is also recommended that you contact the facility to notify them of your intent to be present.

Not necessarily. While the parolee is entitled to be informed of the hearing officer’s findings (as to guilt or innocence of each allegation), in most cases, where the parolee has admitted to an allegation and/or has been found guilty of an allegation, the hearing officer will verbally advise the parolee of the findings during the process or at the conclusion of the hearing. In the rare event that the hearing officer is unable to make a finding for any allegation at the time of the hearing, and requires additional time to consider the information or review the evidence, then the hearing officer is required to provide written notice of the decision to the parolee within 20 days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Basically, a parole diversion is an alternative to a revocation hearing, with the ultimate intent to reinstate the individual on parole. A diversion might consist of a specific period of time in custody as a sanction for the violation (typically referred to as a “jail” diversion) followed by reinstatement on parole, or it might require that the parolee complete recommended programs in an IDOC facility before being reinstated on parole (a “prison” or “program” diversion). In some cases, where a parolee has received a new felony conviction for which he has been accepted to a problem-solving court program, a “community” diversion might be recommended, which would allow the parolee to reinstate on parole with the requirement to successfully complete the program.

Parole diversion recommendations are reviewed at a frequency of two times per month by a panel made up of two Parole Commissioners. Generally, within three business days following the review, a written decision will be issued by Commission staff. The decision will be sent out to be served by the PO or the case manager at the facility where the parolee is being held.

The Commission defers to IDOC staff to make appropriate assessments and programming recommendations. While the panel might recommend programs to address specific issues, such as substance abuse, the final programming decision is made by IDOC staff. Some programs ordered and their typical duration are as follows: Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse/CBI-SA (180 days), Thinking for a Change (120 days), Aggression Replacement Training (90 days), Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Sexual Offending/CBI-SO (230 days), and Advance Practice/AP (where CBI-SA or CBI-SO have previously been completed – 1 to 4 months).

Unlike what is required in a criminal court of law, the hearing officer’s finding does not have to be beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not contingent on a criminal conviction, and there may still be a guilty finding even in situations where charges are dismissed. The hearing officer’s finding is based on a preponderance of the available evidence, such as the parolee’s testimony, the testimony of the PO or other witnesses, and any police reports, admission statements, lab test results, or other documents relevant to the allegation. The hearing officer will weigh the information, and make a finding based on what the majority of the evidence shows. If evidence is submitted that refutes what is alleged, and the hearing officer determines that the evidence is sufficient to prove the alleged violation did not occur, then the hearing officer will dismiss the allegation.

As a best practice, the hearing officer will have the parolee scheduled for a Commission hearing within 3-4 months after the completion of the violation hearing. However, there are several factors that might affect this and result in a delay. First, before a revocation hearing can be scheduled, the hearing officer must complete a report of violation findings and generally does so in the order that the individual hearings were completed. For example, if the hearing officer has completed 10 violation hearings, and your loved one’s hearing was the 10th, then the hearing officer has 9 other reports to complete first, before completing that of your loved one. Considering ebbs and flows in workloads, the hearing officer may be able to complete a report in a relatively short amount of time (4-6 weeks, or less) or a longer period of time (2-3 months or longer). Next is monthly session availability. Commission hearings are limited to approximately two weeks out of each month, and only so many hearings can be completed in the limited amount of time available. And these hearings are not limited to revocation hearings – they also include parole consideration hearings, as well as other types of hearings. So when a session becomes full, then the hearing officer has no option but to schedule the revocation hearing in the next available session, which may be several months down the road.

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 an 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 your 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 the final paperwork is reviewed, 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.





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