SB 196 - This act creates geriatric parole. An offender serving a sentence for a felony offense may petition the Parole Board for geriatric parole if he or she:
• Has reached the age of 55 or older and has served at least 15 years of the sentence;
• Has reached the age of 60 or older and has served at least 10 years of the sentence; or
• Has reached the age of 65 or older and has served at least 5 years of the sentence.
Consideration of geriatric parole shall not prevent an offender from being granted any other form of parole.
The Parole Board shall hear a petition for geriatric parole within 30 days of receipt of the petition or at the next board meeting, whichever is sooner. The Parole Board shall consider certain factors as provided in the act. After a decision, the Parole Board shall note the rationale for the decision. If geriatric parole is denied, the offender shall wait one year before submitting a new petition.
If the board grants geriatric parole, the offender shall be released by the Department of Corrections within 48 hours of receipt of the board's decision. The warden of the facility shall ensure the offender has certain documents and property upon release as provided in the act. The parole term shall be for the remainder of the offender's sentence or not more than 2 years, whichever is less.
Finally, this act provides that at least twice a year, the wardens of correctional facilities shall report to the Director of the department the number of offenders eligible for geriatric parole and those offenders shall be notified. Additionally, at least annually, the Director shall submit a report to the General Assembly on the status of all offenders who meet the criteria for geriatric parole. The Parole Board shall also submit a report with data as provided in the act to the General Assembly.
MARY GRACE PRINGLE