Appearing before the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles (“The Parole Board”) can be a dizzying, intimidating experience for those unfamiliar with the Board’s procedures. This is the first of a series of posts designed to remove some of the mystery from the process.
What is the Parole Board and what do they do?
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles is a three-member board appointed by the governor. The Board has the authority to grant parole (release from incarceration) or pardons (removal of a criminal conviction) for offenses in the state of Alabama. They do not have jurisdiction over Federal inmates (there is no parole in the Federal prison system) or over convictions from municipal (city) courts.
Before the Board will act to grant a pardon or parole, they will hold a formal hearing at their Montgomery headquarters. At that hearing, all board members will be in attendance, will listen to the presentations on behalf of the applicant, and also any objections to the application.
Contrary to popular belief, an inmate requesting parole does not get the opportunity to address the board personally, as the board does not hold hearings at prison locations, nor will they transport inmates to Montgomery for their hearings. This is why it is important for those presenting evidence to carefully consider what they will tell the Board. An applicant can have up to three people speak in support of their application.
Once the board has heard the presentations, they vote and announce their decision. In parole cases, they can grant parole, or deny parole and put off the next hearing for a maximum of 5 years. For pardons, the board can grant a full or partial pardon, or they can deny the pardon request.
At Skier & Associates, we are well versed in Parole Board procedures, and regularly appear at hearings on behalf of clients. We are well known to the Board members. Feel free to contact us for more information about these hearings or if you would like us to assist in preparing and presenting a case to the board.