What Victims Need to Know About the Parole Process
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Parole?
A: Parole is the conditional release from prison of a convicted person who has not yet served their full sentence.
Q: What is a parole hearing?
A: A parole hearing is held when the Department of Correction determines the inmate is eligible for early release from prison. If approved the inmate will serve the rest of his/her sentence under the supervision of the Department of Community Correction.
Q: Who is a victim?
A: A crime victim as defined by A.C.A. § 16-90-1101 is a victim of a sex offense, an offense against a minor, or a victim of a violent crime.
Q: Can a victim attend the inmate parole hearing?
A: The victim will not be admitted to this hearing but are entitled to a separate hearing with the Board.
Q: How will the victim be notified of a parole hearing?
A: If the victim has requested notification from the Department of Correction, he/she will be notified in writing 30 days prior to the parole hearing. If the victim is registered with VINE he/she will be notified 30-90 days in advance by phone and/or email.
It is the responsibility of the victim or victim's next of kin to update their phone numbers and address for notification purposes. This can be done by contacting the ADC Victim Coordinator and by contacting the Arkansas VINE Service. Changes should be made with both agencies to receive proper notification. It is not the responsibility of the Arkansas Parole Board to update this information.
Q: How can a victim have input into the parole process?
A: The victim, or the next of kin, may provide oral, written, audio or video recommendations regarding the granting of parole and release conditions. Any written materials will be made available to the inmate for his/her review. The victim or next of kin may request to make an oral presentation by contacting the Parole Board and asking to be scheduled for a victim input hearing.
Q: Where and when will the victim impact hearings be held?
A: The input hearings are generally held twice a month on Wednesdays at the Parole Board office in Little Rock.
Q: Who will be hearing the victim impact statement?
A: The full Parole Board composed of 7 members and any staff deemed necessary by the Board will be present for victim input hearings.
Q: Will the inmate be present at the victim impact hearing?
A: The inmate will not attend the victim input hearing. His/her parole hearing will be held at a correctional facility on a separate date.
Q: Can a victim bring someone to the victim impact hearing?
A: The victim may bring as many people as they would like to the input hearing, but presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. The victim must have prior approval of the Board to bring members of the press or media.
Q: When will the results of the parole hearing be available?
A: The Board will give the victim a card after the input hearing with the date the results will be available. If the victim is registered with VINE he/she will receive notification of the results as soon as they are made available.
Q: Can the Parole Board deny all crimes?
A: No. Certain offenses are not within the discretion of the Board. For offenses that are non-discretionary, the Board may only place a course of action (programs) on an inmate. Once that course of action has been completed, the inmate must be released.
Q: What if the parole hearing is not held?
A: The inmate can waive his/her right to a parole hearing at any time. If the victim is registered to receive notification he/she will be notified of this event.
The Choice is Yours
Victims are not required to attend victim input hearings but they do have the right to do so if they wish. If you choose not to attend a victim input hearing you may submit a written statement about the impact of the crime. This statement will be given to the inmate so all confidential information such as address and phone number should be omitted.
To discuss your options, contact the Parole Board.
Please contact the DCC Public Relation office at 501-682-9593 with any questions regarding the disclosure of your written statements.
For more information about the parole process please contact:
Arkansas Board Parole
105 W. Capitol, Suite 500
Little Rock, AR 72201
For VINE Information:
Arkansas Crime Information Center
One Capitol Mall, 4D-200
Little Rock, AR 72201
Arkansas Department of Corrections