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Victims and Citizens Against Crime

"Standing Up For The Rights Of The Victim"


"We are fed up with crime-and we're doing something about it."

E-Mail us at vcac@bellsouth.net

Crime Victims

Service Bureau

Office of the Secretary

Louisiana Department of Public

Safety & Corrections

Richard L. Stalder, Secretary

P.O.Box 94304, Baton Rouge, LA. 70804-9304

(225) 342-1056 in Baton Rouge (888) 342-6110 toll free

 

Victims of a crime and other persons directly affected by the crime may register with the

Crime Victims Services Bureau if the person who committed the crime is sentenced to state custody.

(1) In return, the department provides the following information regarding adult inmates:

 (2) The department does not provide notice of:

 

The department will provide direct notice to the registered victims of a juvenile offender in institutional custody about the juvenile's discharge or parole. Notice of a juvenile's escape and apprehension, furlough, and reassignment from institutional to non-secure custody is provided to the prosecuting district attorney.

 

Anyone may contact the Crime Victims Services Bureau for the following:

 Information about the department's policies, programs, and practices.

Information about other agencies and organizations that assist crime victims.

Help in stopping unsolicited communications (by mail or telephone) from inmates sentenced to state custody.

 

How are inmates released from prison?

 

Most are released by parole or diminution of sentence.

(1) Parole is conditional release from prison by action of the Parole Board. An inmate cannot be released on parole until the board announces and holds a hearing.

  • A parole hearing is held about a month before an inmate's parole eligibility date (the date on which law allows release on parole).
  • Laws and policy require notice to victims and certain other persons and agencies at least 30 days before the hearing.
  • An inmate granted parole must agree to and follow a list of rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in return to prison.
  • The inmate is monitored by a parole officer until the full term date.

(2) Diminution of sentence release is conditional release from prison based on accrual of "good time" credits. This manner of release does not involve a hearing but does require supervision by a parole officer.

  • Laws passed by the legislature enable some inmates to shorten time in prison by positive actions while there. (Inmates can also lose good time credit by breaking rules or laws, thereby extending their time in prison.)
  • When an inmate's diminution of sentence date arrives, the department must release the inmate from prison to the community to be supervised "as if on parole."
  • The inmate must agree to and follow a list of rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in return to prison.
  • The inmate is monitored by a parole officer until the full term date.

 (3) Some inmates are released in other ways--for example, by court order or at full term or on good time without supervision. You may contact the Crime Victims Services Bureau for additional information about this subject.

 

How long must inmates serve in prison before being released on parole or diminution of sentence?

(1) Inmates sentenced to a fixed number of years for a crime of violence committed on or after I/l/97 must serve at least 85% of the time imposed before they can be released on parole or diminution of sentence.

(2) Most inmates sentenced for crimes committed before 1/ 1 /97 and inmates sentenced for crimes other than crimes of violence committed after that date are eligible for release as explained below.

  • A parole-eligible first offender can be released on parole after serving one-third of the sentence imposed by the court.
  • A parole-eligible second offender can be released on parole after serving one-half of the sentence imposed by the court.
  • Inmates classified as third offenders or greater are not eligible for parole.
  • An inmate who is sentenced to 30 years or more in prison, serves 20 years in actual custody, and has reached age 45 is eligible for parole consideration. (This law does not apply if the inmate is under sentence of life or death or committed a crime of violence on or after l/l/97.)
  • If an inmate is eligible to earn good time credit toward diminution of sentence release, his earliest eligibility for release will come after he serves about 1/2 of the sentence.
  • An inmate sentenced to life in prison cannot be paroled or released on diminution of sentence unless the life sentence is first commuted. (See section re: Board of Pardons.)

 

Can the Board of Pardons influence an inmate's release?

The Board of Pardons handles inmate requests for clemency--that is, pardon, commutation, and restoration of rights lost as the result of a criminal conviction.

 (1) Access to a hearing before the Board of Pardons is provided by the state's constitution. A court cannot make an inmate ineligible for consideration by the Board of Pardons.

(2) Commutation is the only non-judicial means by which a life sentence can be changed to a specified number of years, thereby creating the possibility of the inmate's eventual release from prison by virtue of parole or diminution of sentence. Many applications to the board request a commutation of sentence--that is, a lesser sentence than the one imposed by the court.

(3) An inmate cannot be recommended for commutation of sentence until the board announces and holds a hearing.

(4) Law and policy require notice to victims and other persons and agencies 30 days before an inmate's hearing.

(5) Commutation requests approved by the board are sent to the Governor, who makes the final decision to grant or deny the board's recommendation.

 

Law identifies the following as crimes of violence:

Solicitation for murder, First degree murder, Second degree murder, Manslaughter, Aggravated battery, Second degree battery, Aggravated assault, Mingling harmful substances, Aggravated rape, Forcible rape, Simple rape, Sexual battery, Aggravated sexual battery, Oral sexual battery, Aggravated oral sexual battery, Intentional exposure to AIDS, Aggravated kidnapping, Second degree kidnapping, Simple kidnapping, Aggravated arson, Aggravated burglary, Armed robbery, First degee robbery, Simple robbery, Purse snatching, Assault by drive-by shooting, Extortion, Carjacking, Aggravated criminal damage to property, Aggravated crime against nature, Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities

 

The attempt to commit one of these crimes also is a crime of violence. Law allows a court to designate other crimes of violence. -

 

 

Questions about specific hearing dates and places are best directed to staff of the Parole and Pardon Boards at the numbers listed below. (The Crime Victims Service Bureau does not have direct access to docket information.)

Board of Parole (225) 342-6622

Board of Pardons (225) 342-5421

These numbers may be used to request a copy of the Parole Board Rules and/or a copy of the brochure "A Guide to the Louisiana Board of Pardons."

 

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