Parole eligibility is determined by the crime and the type and length of sentence imposed. The date on which an offender becomes eligible for parole is set by statutes and regulations. For all offenders, the parole eligibility date is tentatively calculated at the start of the offender’s incarceration. As a result of the Truth in Sentencing Law enacted July 1, 1994, the formula for determining parole eligibility dates changed for offenders who committed crimes after July 1, 1994.
Offenders serving state prison sentences for crimes against a person (i.e. violent crimes) committed before July 1, 1994, are generally required to serve at least two-thirds of their minimum sentences, minus the amount of time accumulated through earned credits. Offenders serving state prison sentences for committing other crimes (i.e. property crimes) are generally required to serve at least one- third of their minimum sentence, minus the amount of time accumulated through earned credits. Offenders sentenced after July 1, 1994 are required to serve at least the minimum term of the sentence (for example 7-10 years), minus the amount of time accumulated through earned credits. Offenders serving House of Correction sentences of 60 days or longer are eligible for parole after serving one-half of their sentence.
Offenders serving life sentences for first degree murder convictions are not eligible for parole. Offenders serving life sentence for all other crimes (i.e. 2nd degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated rape) are eligible for parole after serving a mandatory minimum of fifteen years. Offenders serving other mandatory sentences are not eligible for parole.
The Parole Board Victim Services Unit sends a written notice of the offender’s parole eligibility date to CORI-certified petitioners. The victims may also contact the Victim Services Unit to determine the parole release status of the offender.