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Oregon Parole Board

Updated on March 7, 2018

Oregon Parole Board

In 1911 the State of Oregon established the State Parole Board, but it was not until 1989 that the name was changed to the State Board of Parole & Post-Prison Supervision (Oregon.gov, 2012). The Boards’ current mission statement basically states that it will work together with the Department of Corrections and local agencies to prevent offender recidivism while being respectful towards any inmate’s desire to improve his or herself.

In November of 1989 the State changed the policy of using the Board of Parole as the determiner of release with the indeterminate sentence. Now the State uses sentencing guidelines and all but 10% of those incarcerated are now serving their time under the new law. There are still a few exceptions to the new law. If a person takes a case to trial and is convicted of aggravated murder or is deemed a dangerous offender by the jury and comes up for release then the Board reviews the case as was done prior to 1989. This change of law basically means that the Board has more time to deal with other issues. Those issues amount to things like holding authority over those released on post-prison supervision. Imposing conditions of parole and issuing arrest warrants when violations occur. The Board also reviews violations and imposes sanctions along with determining when to discharge an offender from post-prison supervision. However, it should be understood that a lot of these tasks are handled by the parole or probation officer and the local authorities. This is done to relieve the Board of excessive work yet the final ruling does lie in the power of the Board (Oregon.gov, 2012).

The Board consisted of a 5 member panel since 1969; in 1987 it cut back to a three member panel, to save money. The members consist of one chair and two members. All members are appointed by the Governor and then confirmed through the Senate to serve a four year term. The current Board members are as follows: Aaron Felton-chair, Jeremiah Stromberg-member, and Candace Wheeler-member.

Chief Justice DeMuniz established an advisory commission that works to propose rules that help establish ranges and durations of imprisonment and the lengths of other supervisory matters. It was noted by Oregon.gov, (2012), that one issue the commission is most likely to address soon will be the impact of the Supreme Courts’ decision on individuals serving sentences for aggravated murder.

It appears that the Board still retains full control of an offender’s path of incapacitation and later treatment. The greatest area of change lies in the sentencing guideline rule. Parole still exists, but now it takes on the name of post-prison supervision and is basically a period of supervision after incarceration where offenders can easily be returned to prison. Post prison supervision is different than parole in that it never allows the early release of a prisoner.

Work Cited

Oregon.gov.; (2012). http://www.oregon.gov/BOPPPS/Pages/about_us.aspx

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