61c6139s

§ 6139.  Parole procedure.

(a)  Specific requirements.--

(1)  The board may, subject to the provisions and limitations set forth in section 6138 (relating to violation of terms of parole), grant paroles of its own motion whenever in its judgment the interests of justice require the granting of these paroles.

(2)  The board shall consider applications for parole by an inmate or the inmate's attorney.

(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2), the board shall not be required to consider nor dispose of an application by an inmate or an inmate's attorney where a parole decision has been issued by the board on that case within one year of the date of the current application for parole.

(3.1)  Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3), the board shall not be required to consider nor to dispose of an application by an inmate or an inmate's attorney in the case of an inmate sentenced under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1102.1 (relating to sentence of persons under the age of 18 for murder, murder of an unborn child and murder of a law enforcement officer) if a parole decision has been issued by the board within five years of the date of the current application.

(3.2)  Nothing under this section shall be interpreted as granting a right to be paroled to any person, and a decision by the board and its designees relating to a person sentenced under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1102.1 may not be considered an adjudication under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(3.3)  The following apply:

(i)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), if a parole decision has been issued by the board within three years of the date of the current application, the board shall not be required to consider nor dispose of an application by an inmate or an inmate's attorney in the case of an inmate sentenced under any of the following provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses):

Section 2502(c) (relating to murder).

Section 2503 (relating to voluntary manslaughter).

Section 2901(a.1) (relating to kidnapping).

Section 3011(b) (relating to trafficking in individuals).

Section 3012 (relating to involuntary servitude).

Section 3121 (relating to rape).

Section 3122.1(b) (relating to statutory sexual assault).

Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

Section 3124.2(a.1) (relating to institutional sexual assault).

Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

Section 3126(a)(7) (relating to indecent assault).

Section 4302(b) (relating to incest).

(ii)  Nothing under this paragraph shall be interpreted as granting a right to be paroled to any person, and a decision by the board and its designees relating to a person sentenced to an offense as set forth under this paragraph may not be considered an adjudication under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A and 7 Subch. A.

(3.4)  The following apply:

(i)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), if a parole decision has been issued by the board within three years of the date of the current application, the board shall not be required to consider nor dispose of an application by an inmate or an inmate's attorney in the case of an inmate designated as a sexually violent predator under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 97 Subch. H (relating to registration of sexual offenders) or I (relating to continued registration of sexual offenders).

(ii)  Nothing under this section shall be interpreted as granting a right to be paroled to any person, and a decision by the board and its designees relating to a person designated as a sexually violent predator may not be considered an adjudication under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A and 7 Subch. A.

(4)  Hearings of applications shall be held by the board whenever in its judgment hearings are necessary. Reasonable rules and regulations shall be adopted by the board for the presentation and hearing of applications for parole.

(5)  Whenever an inmate is paroled by the board, whether of its own motion or after hearing of an application for parole, or whenever an application for parole is refused by the board, a brief statement of the reasons for the board's action shall be filed of record in the offices of the board and shall be at all reasonable times open to public inspection.

(6)  In no case shall a parole be granted, or an application for parole be dismissed, unless a board member, hearing examiner or other person so designated by the board shall have seen and heard the parolee in person in regard thereto within six months prior to the granting or dismissal thereof. This requirement does not apply to paroles under section 6137.1 (relating to short sentence parole).

(7)  The board shall dispose of the application within six months of its filing.

(b)  Reliance on reports.--In granting and revoking paroles and in discharging from parole, the members of the board acting thereon shall not be required to personally hear or see all the witnesses and evidence submitted to them for their action, but they may act on the report submitted to them by their agents and employees, together with any pertinent and adequate information furnished to them by fellow members of the board or by others. In granting or revoking parole or bringing an alleged parole violator before a hearing examiner, the appearance may be conducted via videoconferencing or similar virtual presence technology. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a hearing examiner, hearing officer or member of the board charged with making the parole release decision shall be required to hear and see in person, without the use of videoconferencing or similar virtual presence technology, any in-person victim testimony under section 6140 (relating to victim statements, testimony and participation in hearing) or under section 502(b) of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or reduce the rights of victims under section 6140 or under section 502(b) of the Crime Victims Act.

(c)  Notice to district attorney.--At least ten days before paroling an inmate on its own motion, the board shall give written notice of the contemplated parole to the district attorney of the county in which the inmate was sentenced, and, in cases of hearings on applications for parole as provided for in this section, at least ten days' written notice of the time and place fixed for such hearing shall be given either by the board or by the applicant, as the board shall direct, to the court and district attorney of the county in which the applicant was sentenced.

61c6139v

(Oct. 25, 2012, P.L.1655, No.204; Dec. 18, 2019, P.L.776, No.115, eff. 120 days; Nov. 25, 2020, P.L.  , No.124, eff. imd.)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 124 amended subsecs. (a) and (b). See section 2 of Act 124 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability.

Cross References.  Section 6139 is referred to in sections 6137.1, 6140 of this title.