§ 42-9-45. General rule-making power.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 42. PENAL INSTITUTIONS

Chapter 9. PARDONS AND PAROLES

Article 2. GRANTS OF PARDONS, PAROLES, AND OTHER RELIEF

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 42-9-45. General rule-making power

(a) The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, touching all matters dealt with in this chapter, including, among others, the practice and procedure in matters pertaining to paroles, pardons, and remission of fines and bond forfeitures. The rules and regulations shall contain an eligibility requirement for parole which shall set forth the time when the automatic initial consideration for parole of inmates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections shall take place and also the times at which periodic reconsideration thereafter shall take place. Such consideration shall be automatic, and no written or formal application shall be required.
(b)
(1) An inmate serving a misdemeanor sentence or misdemeanor sentences shall only be eligible for consideration for parole after the expiration of six months of his or her sentence or sentences or one-third of the time of his or her sentence or sentences, whichever is greater.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7 and paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, an inmate serving a felony sentence or felony sentences shall only be eligible for consideration for parole after the expiration of nine months of his or her sentence or one-third of the time of the sentences, whichever is greater. Except as otherwise provided in Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7 and paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, inmates serving sentences aggregating 21 years or more shall become eligible for consideration for parole upon completion of the service of seven years.
(3) When an inmate was sentenced pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 16-13-30 and subsection (c) of Code Section 17-10-7 to a term of at least 12 years and up to a life sentence, he or she may become eligible for consideration for parole if he or she:
(A) Has never been convicted of:
(i) A serious violent felony as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1 ;
(ii) An offense for which he or she was or could have been required to register pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12 ; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to any felony that became punishable as a misdemeanor on or after July 1, 2006;
(iii) A violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-5-21 ;
(iv) A violation of Code Section 16-11-106 ; and
(v) A violation of Code Section 16-11-131 ;
(B) Has completed at least 12 years of his or her sentence;
(C) Has obtained a low-risk for recidivism rating as determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the Department of Corrections;
(D) Has been classified as a medium or less than medium security risk for institutional housing classification purposes by the Department of Corrections;
(E) Has completed all criminogenic programming requirements as determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the Department of Corrections;
(F) In the 12 months preceding consideration, has not been found guilty of any serious disciplinary infractions; and
(G) Has a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma, unless he or she is unable to obtain such educational achievement due to a learning disability or illiteracy. If the inmate is incapable of obtaining such education, he or she shall have completed a job skills training program, a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a faith based program.
(4) When an inmate was sentenced pursuant to subsection (c), (e), or (l) of Code Section 16-13-30 and subsection (c) of Code Section 17-10-7 to a term of at least six years, he or she may become eligible for consideration for parole if he or she:
(A) Has never been convicted of:
(i) A serious violent felony as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1 ;
(ii) An offense for which he or she was or could have been required to register pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12 ; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to any felony that became punishable as a misdemeanor on or after July 1, 2006;
(iii) A violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-5-21 ;
(iv) A violation of Code Section 16-11-106 ; and
(v) A violation of Code Section 16-11-131 ;
(B) Has completed at least six years of his or her sentence;
(C) Has obtained a low-risk for recidivism rating as determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the Department of Corrections;
(D) Has been classified as a medium or less than medium security risk for institutional housing classification purposes by the Department of Corrections;
(E) Has completed all criminogenic programming requirements as determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the Department of Corrections;
(F) In the 12 months preceding consideration, has not been found guilty of any serious disciplinary infractions; and
(G) Has a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma, unless he or she is unable to obtain such educational achievement due to a learning disability or illiteracy. If the inmate is incapable of obtaining such education, he or she shall have completed a job skills training program, a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a faith based program.
(c) The board shall adopt rules and regulations governing the granting of other forms of clemency, which shall include pardons, reprieves, commutation of penalties, removal of disabilities imposed by law, and the remission of any part of a sentence, and shall prescribe the procedure to be followed in applying for them. Applications for the granting of such other forms of clemency and for exceptions to parole eligibility rules established by statute or promulgated by the board shall be made in such manner as the board shall direct by rules and regulations.
(d) All rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Code section shall be adopted, established, promulgated, amended, repealed, filed, and published in accordance with the applicable provisions and procedure as set forth in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The courts shall take judicial notice of the rules and regulations.
(e) For the purposes of this Code section, the words "rules and regulations" shall have the same meaning as the word "rule," as defined in Code Section 50-13-2, except that the words "rules and regulations" shall not be construed to include the terms and conditions prescribed by the board to which a person paroled by the board may be subjected.
(f) Except to correct a patent miscarriage of justice and not otherwise, no inmate serving a sentence imposed for any of the crimes listed in this subsection shall be granted release on parole until and unless said inmate has served on good behavior seven years of imprisonment or one-third of the prison term imposed by the sentencing court for the violent crime, whichsoever first occurs. No inmate serving a sentence for any crime listed in this subsection shall be released on parole for the purpose of regulating jail or prison populations. This subsection shall govern parole actions in sentences imposed for any of the following crimes: voluntary manslaughter, statutory rape, incest, cruelty to children, arson in the first degree, homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or as a habitual traffic violator, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, trafficking in drugs, and violations of Chapter 14 of Title 16, the "Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act."
(g) No inmate serving a sentence for murder, murder in the second degree, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, or aggravated sexual battery shall be released on parole for the purpose of regulating jail or prison populations.
(h) An inmate whose criminal offense or history indicates alcohol or drug involvement shall not be considered for parole until such inmate has successfully completed an Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program offered by the Department of Corrections.
(i) An inmate who has committed an offense which has been identified to involve family violence as such term is defined in Code Section 19-13-1 shall not be released on parole until such inmate has successfully completed a Family Violence Counseling Program offered by the Department of Corrections.

Cite as OCGA § 42-9-45

History. Amended by 2018 Ga. Laws 562, §42, eff. 5/8/2018.

Amended by 2016 Ga. Laws 460, §9-1, eff. 4/27/2016.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 98, §3-32, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 74, §2-2, eff. 5/5/2015.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 577, §2-12, eff. 7/1/2014.