Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Chapter 4. Probation and Parole
6/21/2021

Article 1. Administration Generally.

§ 53.1-134. Creation of Parole Board; appointment of members.

There shall be a Parole Board which shall consist of up to five members appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, if in session when such appointment is made, and if not in session, then at its next succeeding session. At least one member of the Parole Board shall be a representative of a crime victims' organization or a victim of crime as defined in subsection B of § 19.2-11.01.

The members of the Parole Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

Code 1950, §§ 53-230, 53-231, 53-232, 53-233, 53-234, 53-235, 53-236; 1966, c. 638; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 253; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1975, c. 316; 1982, c. 636; 1984, c. 584; 1997, cc. 795, 883; 2002, c. 569.

§ 53.1-135. Chairman; Vice-Chairman of Board.

The Governor shall designate one of the members so appointed as Chairman of the Board. The Board may elect one of its members as Vice-Chairman; in the absence of the Chairman, he shall have the same duties as are conferred upon the Chairman. The Chairman shall be a full-time state employee. The Governor may designate no more than two other members of the Board as full-time state employees. Members of the Board not designated full-time state employees shall be considered part-time state employees.

Code 1950, §§ 53-234; 53-235; 1966, c. 638; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 253; 1975, c. 316; 1978, c. 552; 1982, c. 636; 1988, c. 823; 1992, c. 144; 2002, c. 569.

§ 53.1-136. Powers and duties of Board; notice of release of certain inmates.

In addition to the other powers and duties imposed upon the Board by this article, the Board shall:

1. Adopt, subject to approval by the Governor, general rules governing the granting of parole and eligibility requirements, which shall be published and posted for public review;

2. Adopt, subject to approval by the Governor, rules providing for the granting of parole to those prisoners who are eligible for parole pursuant to § 53.1-165.1 on the basis of demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation and the lesser culpability of juvenile offenders;

3. a. Release on parole for such time and upon such terms and conditions as the Board shall prescribe, persons convicted of felonies and confined under the laws of the Commonwealth in any correctional facility in Virginia when those persons become eligible and are found suitable for parole, according to those rules adopted pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2;

b. Establish the conditions of postrelease supervision authorized pursuant to § 18.2-10 and subsection A of § 19.2-295.2;

c. Notify by certified mail at least 21 business days prior to release on discretionary parole of any inmate convicted of a felony and sentenced to a term of 10 or more years, the attorney for the Commonwealth in the jurisdiction where the inmate was sentenced. In the case of parole granted for medical reasons, where death is imminent, the attorney for the Commonwealth may be notified by telephone or other electronic means prior to release. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the obligations of the Board under § 53.1-155 for investigation prior to release;

d. Provide that in any case where a person who is released on parole or postrelease supervision has been committed to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services under the provisions of Chapter 9 (§ 37.2-900 et seq.) of Title 37.2 the conditions of his parole or postrelease supervision shall include the requirement that the person comply with all conditions given him by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and that he follow all of the terms of his treatment plan;

4. Revoke parole and any period of postrelease and order the reincarceration of any parolee or felon serving a period of postrelease supervision or impose a condition of participation in any component of the Statewide Community-Based Corrections System for State-Responsible Offenders (§ 53.1-67.2 et seq.) on any eligible parolee, when, in the judgment of the Board, he has violated the conditions of his parole or postrelease supervision or is otherwise unfit to be on parole or on postrelease supervision;

5. Issue final discharges to persons released by the Board on parole when the Board is of the opinion that the discharge of the parolee will not be incompatible with the welfare of such person or of society;

6. Make investigations and reports with respect to any commutation of sentence, pardon, reprieve or remission of fine, or penalty when requested by the Governor;

7. Publish monthly a statement regarding the action taken by the Board on the parole of prisoners. The statement shall list the name of each prisoner considered for parole and indicate whether parole was granted or denied, as well as the basis for denial of parole as described in subdivision 3 a; and

8. Ensure that each person eligible for parole receives a timely and thorough review of his suitability for release on parole, including a review of any relevant post-sentencing information. If parole is denied, the basis for the denial of parole shall be in writing and shall give specific reasons for such denial to such inmate.

Code 1950, §§ 53-238, 53-265; 1966, c. 638; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 253; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1979, c. 625; 1982, c. 636; 1990, c. 538; 2000, cc. 338, 767; 2002, c. 569; 2003, c. 132; 2005, c. 657; 2006, cc. 863, 914; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2013, c. 708; 2020, cc. 2, 529.

§ 53.1-137. Revocation hearings and subpoenas; penalty for disobeying subpoena or hindering hearing.

The Board is authorized to hold and conduct revocation hearings; to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, memoranda, papers and other documents before the Board or any representative of the Board; and to administer oaths and take testimony thereunder. The Board may authorize any member or other authorized representative of the Board to hold and conduct hearings, issue subpoenas, and administer oaths and take testimony thereunder. If any person fails or refuses to obey any such subpoena issued by the Board or any member or other authorized representative thereof, or hinders the orderly conduct and decorum of any hearing held and conducted by the Board or any member or other authorized representative thereof, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 53-239; 1970, c. 648; 1982, c. 636; 1985, c. 174.

§ 53.1-138. Access to prisoners; reports of prison officials.

It shall be the duty of all prison officials to grant to the members of the Board, or its properly accredited representatives, access at all reasonable times to any prisoner whom the Board has power to parole; to provide for the Board and its representatives facilities for communicating with and observing such prisoner; and to furnish to the Board such reports as the Board or the Chairman shall request. Such reports may concern the conduct and character of any prisoner in their custody and other facts deemed by the Board pertinent in determining whether such prisoner shall be paroled.

Code 1950, § 53-240; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 253; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-139. Powers and duties of Chairman.

In addition to other powers and duties prescribed by law, the Chairman of the Board shall:

1. Preside at all meetings of the Board; cause the keeping of minutes of its proceedings and all other records required by law or by the Board incident to its functions, powers and duties;

2. Exercise supervision for the Board through probation and parole officers over prisoners released on conditional pardon as the Governor may require;

3. Sign for the Board its approval of annual reports, evaluations, requests, plans, budgets and other similar documents prepared for the Governor, other departments, and other entities; and

4. Serve as spokesman for the Board unless the Board designates another.

Code 1950, §§ 53-241, 53-265; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 253; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636; 1984, c. 734; 1988, c. 823; 1992, c. 144.

§ 53.1-139.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 144.

§ 53.1-140. Powers and duties of Director of Department.

The Director of the Department of Corrections shall:

1. Direct and supervise the work of all probation and parole officers employed and authorized as officers of the court pursuant to the provisions of this article and the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.);

2. Carry or cause to be carried into effect all orders of the Board and all rules and regulations adopted by it pursuant to the provisions of this article;

3. Prepare and submit to the circuit courts of the Commonwealth lists of persons suitable and qualified, in his opinion, for authorization as probation and parole officers pursuant to the provisions of this article; and

4. Coordinate with the Parole Board the activities of the Department of Corrections that relate to parole.

Code 1950, § 53-241.1; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1979, c. 700; 1981, c. 276; 1982, c. 636; 2003, c. 944.

§ 53.1-140.1. (Effective July 1, 2022) Department to provide services.

The Department shall ensure that educational, vocational, counseling, substance abuse, rehabilitative, and reentry services are available at all probation and parole offices.

2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 50, 52.