Parole Consideration

The Rhode Island Parole Board is an independent, quasi-judicial entity that is authorized to consider the conditional early release of inmates in the Adult Correctional Institutions who are serving a sentence of more than six (6) months, except those serving life without parole.  This includes persons serving a sentence on home confinement.

Generally speaking, Rhode Island law allows the parole board to issue a parole permit once an eligible inmate has served no less than one-third (1/3) of their prison sentence. Minimum eligibility is different for life sentences, sentences for the crimes of first or second degree murder and first-degree child abuse, and may be different in cases involving consecutive sentence terms. Certain “habitual criminal” sentences and "life without parole" sentences are not eligible for parole consideration. Please refer to the Links to RI law governing parole for specifics on eligibility to appear before the parole board. 

All information compiled for an inmate appearing before the Board is provided to the Parole Board Members in advance of any parole hearing.

The decision whether to grant early release through parole is discretionary, after the parole board applies statutory release criteria and standards for release. The board may issue a parole permit upon a majority vote of its members however, all life sentence cases require a unanimous vote of at least four board members.

In those cases where parole is granted, the Parole Board carefully sets conditions for the parolee who will then receive intense supervision in the community by an assigned parole officer from the Department of Corrections’ Probation & Parole Division. If a parolee violates any condition of parole, including arrest for a new charge, a warrant may issue and/or the parolee could be returned to the ACI for a parole revocation hearing before the Parole Board.

Links to the various parole statutes and guidelines may be found on this page. Please also access our Fact Sheet for quick facts. 

Medical / Geriatric Parole

Medical parole is made available for humanitarian reasons and to alleviate exorbitant medical expenses associated with inmates whose chronic and incurable illness render their incarceration non-punitive and non-rehabilitative. Geriatric parole is made available for humanitarian reasons and to alleviate exorbitant expenses associated with the cost of aging, for inmates whose advanced age reduces the risk that they pose to the public safety. All prisoners except those serving life without parole are eligible for medical or geriatric parole consideration, regardless of the crime committed or the sentence imposed.

Termination of Parole Supervision

A law passed by the RI General Assembly in July 2021 allows the Parole Board to terminate a parolee’s supervision before the sentence expires after the parolee has been under supervision for at least seven (7) years and with the following eligibility requirements:

  • Eligibility requirements include that the parolee has:
    • been on supervised parole for the required period.
    • observed all the laws within and outside the state of RI.
    • been employed and remains employed at the time of the request; and
    • completed seven (7) continuous years of supervision and is free from an incident of new criminal behavior or serious parole violation.[1]
  • If you have a pending criminal charge(s), the parole board shall not terminate supervision until it determines the disposition of the pending criminal charge(s).
  • Parolees serving a life sentence for first- or second-degree murder are not eligible under this new law.

Eligible parolees must complete and sign Part I of an application form and submit it to their parole officer.  

Statute: RI General Laws §13-8-35

[1] The term an "incident of new criminal behavior" or "serious parole violation" includes a new arrest or report of a parole violation, if supported by substantial evidence of guilt, even if no conviction or parole revocation results.

Termination of supervision does not terminate the parole sentence. As long as a parolee remains under a sentenced term for which they were issued a parole permit, the permit remains valid, and the Board remains authorized to revoke parole under R.I. General Laws §§13-8-18 –19.1 or 13-8.1-4 for incident of new criminal behavior or serious parole violation