The State Parole Board's Revocation Hearing Unit conducts hearings when parolees are charged with violating the conditions of parole. During these hearings the Revocation Hearing Unit determines whether, by clear and convincing evidence, the charged violations were found to have been committed, and whether the sustained parole violations were serious or persistent enough to warrant the revocation of parole, or require action such as setting new conditions of parole.
If a parole officer has reason to believe a parolee has seriously or persistently violated the conditions of parole, the parole officer may arrest the parolee and return him or her to custody pending a revocation hearing, which will be conducted by a hearing officer of the Revocation Hearing Unit.
If a parole officer has probable cause to believe an offender has seriously or persistently failed to comply with the conditions of supervision, the officer may arrest the parolee and return him or her to custody pending a probable cause hearing. In most cases, the parolee will be initially detained in a county jail facility, however, will be transported by the Department of Corrections to the Central Reception and Assignment Facility (CRAF) within a few days to await the preliminary and parole revocation hearings. While at CRAF, the offender will be interviewed by SPB staff and provided with the notice of the hearing, his or her rights at the hearing and all relevant discovery materials. The offender may represent themselves or retain his or her own attorney or, under certain circumstances, may have an attorney appointed by the Superior Court to represent them at the hearing. A request for appointed counsel may delay the hearing process to allow time for the court to review the application, appoint the pro bono attorney (if deemed eligible) and for the attorney to meet with the offender to discuss the hearing.
The State Parole Board will assign a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The Hearing Officer is assigned to the Parole Revocation Hearing Unit and is thereby neutral and detached from the supervision of the offender.
The offender is entitled to two (2) hearings. The first hearing is the preliminary or probable cause hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the offender seriously and/or persistently violated a condition of supervision and whether revocation and return to custody is desirable.
If the Hearing Officer finds that there is probable cause to believe the offender seriously and/or persistently violated a condition of supervision and that revocation is desirable or if the offender is convicted of a criminal offense while under supervision a revocation hearing shall be conducted.
The purpose of the revocation hearing (if based on non-criminal conduct) is to determine whether there is clear and convincing evidence to believe the offender seriously and/or persistently violated a condition of supervision and whether revocation is desirable. If the revocation hearing is based on the conviction of a criminal offense committed while on parole there is a presumption that parole shall be revoked unless the offender demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that good cause exists why he or she should not be returned to custody.
At the commencement of the preliminary or probable cause hearing, the offender may elect to waive the preliminary hearing and proceed directly to the revocation hearing (subject to any objection by the State). Upon conclusion of the revocation hearing, the Hearing Officer will prepare a written hearing summary of the proceedings including whether the evidence presented met the appropriate burden or not and a recommended disposition. The hearing summary is then reviewed by the Board Panel and a final determination is rendered.
The Board Panel may decide to either revoke parole and impose a future parole eligibility term or may decide to continue the offender on parole. If the Board Panel decides to continue the offender on parole they may establish certain additional special conditions to assist the offender in his or her rehabilitation.