How Does Parole Work in Kentucky?

Parole is a form of prisoner release and supervision that is granted to eligible prisoners who have served the minimum portion of their sentence. If a prisoner is eligible for parole, he or she will go before the state Parole Board to request release on parole. If a prisoner is granted parole, then he or she will be allowed to serve the remainder of their sentence under parole supervision and rules. 

Parole allows a prisoner the opportunity to prove that he or she can properly transition back into society and stay out of legal trouble. If you are a prisoner seeking parole, it is important to get the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The Duties of the Kentucky Parole Board

The Kentucky Parole Board is a group of nine individuals who are appointed by the Governor.

Board members have specific duties, including:

  • Reviewing the cases and histories of eligible prisoners on the record;
  • Holding hearings to determine how desirable it is to grant parole for a prisoner;
  • Issuing warrants for parolees who have been accused of violating their parole;

The Parole Board has the power to grant or deny parole. It can also grant final discharge from parole if a parolee completes their parole successfully. If the Board grants parole to a prisoner, the Board will determine the length and terms of the prisoner’s parole. 

The specific rules and regulations for the Kentucky Parole Board are described in the Kentucky Revised Statutes at K.R.S. § 439.330

When is Someone Eligible for Parole in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, a prisoner is generally eligible for parole once the prisoner has completed at least 15% of their original sentence. 

If the prisoner is a sex offender or was convicted of a violent crime, there are different rules concerning their eligibility:

  • If the prisoner seeking parole is convicted of a sex offense, they must first complete a sex offender treatment program run by the Kentucky Department of Corrections. 
  • If the prisoner seeking parole is convicted of a violent crime, they have to complete 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. 

Just because a prisoner is eligible for parole does not promise or guarantee that parole will be granted.  

Meeting with the Kentucky Parole Board

Only two Board members are required to hold a Parole Board hearing where the prisoner is present. Most Parole Board hearings take place over video conference. The Parole Board will hear the prisoner’s case and request for release, and then they will make a decision. 

If the Board members cannot agree on whether or not to grant parole, then the case will go in front of the full board for review. Parole will then be decided by a majority vote of the full Kentucky Parole Board. 

Potential Outcomes After Meeting with Kentucky Parole Board 

After a prisoner meets with the Kentucky Parole Board, one of three things will happen:

  1. Parole will be denied, and the inmate is ordered to serve the rest of his or her sentence;
  2. Parole will be deferred, where parole is temporarily denied, and the prisoner will be eligible again for parole at a future date; or
  3. Parole will be granted, where the prisoner will be released under a set of terms and conditions.

The Parole Board will consider many factors before deciding whether or not to grant parole to a prisoner. This includes things like the seriousness of their offense, their criminal record, and the attitude of the prisoner. In a parole hearing, the Board seeks to determine if the prisoner can reacclimate to regular society. 

 Kentucky Parole Board Reconsideration Process 

If a prisoner’s parole is denied, the prisoner may request reconsideration by the Parole Board. To do so, the prisoner or the prisoner’s attorney must request reconsideration in writing within twenty-one (21) days of the date of denial. If the request for reconsideration is not postmarked within twenty-one (21) days, it will be denied by the Parole Board. 

If the request is filed in time, the Board has the discretion to grant reconsideration for cases involving:

  • An allegation of misconduct by a Parole Board member that is shown on the record;
  • A showing of a significant error in procedure by a Parole Board member; or
  • There is important new evidence that was not available for the original hearing.

If a request for reconsideration is made by a prisoner, the Parole Board will meet to discuss the request and will take a vote. If a majority of the board votes in favor of reconsideration, then the case will be set for a new hearing. 

What if You Violate the Terms of Your Parole?

If you are accused of violating the terms of parole, then you run the risk of having your parole revoked and being sent back to prison. Parolees are entitled to a probable cause hearing in front of a judge and a parole revocation hearing in front of the Kentucky Parole Board. There are two judges in the state of Kentucky that preside over parole violation cases. 

Speak to an Experienced Kentucky Parole Attorney Today

It is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney for any parole-related matters. We offer free consultations so you can have your parole case reviewed by a seasoned professional.