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Parole Hearings

If you have questions, need more information about parole hearings, or have feedback about a hearing you attended call us toll free at: 1-888-585-9103 or contact us by email at uspc.victimadv@usdoj.gov.

If you recently attended a parole hearing please take a moment to complete our brief survey. The information collected will help USPC deliver better services to victims and their families.

Victim Witness Survey

Definition of a Parole Hearing

A parole hearing is a hearing to determine whether an inmate should be released from prison to parole supervision in the community for the remainder of the sentence. The hearing is conducted by a Hearing Examiner of the United States Parole Commission. The decision on whether the inmate should be granted parole is made by a Commissioner of the United States Parole Commission after reviewing the hearing record created by the Hearing Examiner.

Only an inmate eligible for parole consideration under the sentence imposed by the court is scheduled for a parole hearing. Usually, the inmate must serve a minimum term of incarceration (imposed by the sentencing court) before the inmate is eligible for parole. In some cases the inmate may receive a hearing before reaching the parole eligibility date, but in no case may an inmate be released to parole before reaching the eligibility date.

Just because an inmate has been scheduled for a parole hearing does not mean the inmate will be released on parole. For some inmates, federal law requires a parole hearing every two years. Many inmates have several parole hearings before they are found suitable for release by the Parole Commission. Some parole-eligible inmates are never released to parole supervision.

If you are the registered victim or victim's next of kin, the Commission or Bureau of Prisons will notify you by mail or telephone of the next scheduled hearing.

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Who can attend a parole hearing

Only victims, victims' next-of-kin, or immediate family members may attend parole hearings. If necessary, one support person may accompany the victim or family member to the hearing. Support persons are not permitted to participate in the hearing. Victims and their families also may choose to designate someone to be their representative at the hearing who will speak on their behalf.

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Notification of a Hearing

The best way to ensure that you will receive notice of parole hearings is to register for the Federal Victim Notification System. To register, you must contact the Commission's Victim Support Program at 1.888.585.9103 or at USPC.VictimAdv@usdoj.gov.

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How to Attend or Participate in a Hearing

A victim may appear in person at the institution where an inmate is confined or via video from a United States Attorney's Office and offer a statement during the hearing. A victim may also submit a written or recorded statement to the Commission in advance of the hearing. In addition, a victim may request permission to present an oral statement at the Commission's office in Washington, D.C. before a Hearing Examiner who will summarize the statement for the case record.

Victims interested in participating in the parole process via any of the above methods should contact the Victims Support Program. The toll-free telephone number is 1-888-585-9103. The email address is USPC.VictimAdv@usdoj.gov. The mailing address is 90 K Street NE, Washington DC 20530.

In any written communication with the Commission, please include the name of the inmate and the inmate's prison register number, if known. If you do not know the inmate's register number, please include whatever identifying information is available (for example, the name and location of the sentencing court, offense, docket number of the criminal case, and date of sentencing). Also, include an address/telephone number by which you may be reached by Commission staff.

You may find the Commission's procedures regarding attendance of a victim at a parole hearing in the Commission's Rules and Procedures Manual (see section 2.13(b) and 2.13-11 regarding federal offenders) and section 2.72(e) (regarding District of Columbia Code offenders).

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Information Regarding Parole and Supervised Release Revocation Hearings

Victims or witnesses who have been subpoenaed to testify at U.S. Parole Commission local revocation hearings are an important part of the parole and supervised release revocation process.

Hearings conducted by the Parole Commission rely greatly on the testimony of victims, witnesses and law enforcement. The Parole Commission appreciates the participation of witnesses.

If a witness or victim has been subpoenaed to testify at a hearing, they are entitled to reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses and the regular fee for a government witness. At the hearing, the Hearing Examiner will provide the witness with a Fact Witness Voucher Form, on which expenses must be reported. The form can be returned to the U.S. Marshal's Office for reimbursement.

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The Results of a Hearing

Victims and witnesses will be notified, upon request, of the outcome of the hearing. A Victim/Witness Notification Request Form is sent to witnesses along with the subpoena.

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General Information: United States Parole Commission
 
Leadership
Isaac Fulwood, Jr.
Chairman, U.S. Parole Commission
Contact
United States Parole Commission
(202) 346-7000
public.inquiries@usdoj.gov
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