Resources for Persons with Disabilities
Resources for the Public
The Board of Parole Hearings makes all reasonable effort to enable persons with disabilities to participate in the Board’s proceedings. The Board’s proceedings include the Executive Board Meetings each month in Sacramento and the parole suitability hearings at various institutions throughout the state. For disability-related accommodations at any Board proceeding, please contact the Board’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinators at least five (5) working days prior to the scheduled proceeding. The Board’s ADA Coordinators can be reached at (916) 445-6631, (916) 323-7997, or by email at BPH.ADAUnit@cdcr.ca.gov. Please know that contacting the Board’s ADA Coordinators does not replace the need to obtain gate clearance if you attending a parole suitability hearing inside a prison.
Additionally, if you need disability-related accommodations at an institution, you may contact the institution’s ADA Coordinators or Class Action Management Unit (CC II) liaisons.
Resources for Incarcerated Persons
The Board of Parole Hearings provides accommodations to persons with disabilities during all the Board’s hearings, in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
Prior to each parole hearing, institutional staff meet with the person to identify any disability-related accommodations needed for the hearing. The Board’s ADA Coordinators verify this information prior to the hearing and identify any additional needs. These planning efforts are documented in the BPH Form 1073, Notice and Request for Assistance at Parole Proceeding, which a person’s attorney can view in the Disability and Effective Communication System (DECs).
All state-appointed attorneys representing incarcerated persons at Board hearings are expected to review DECs for information regarding their client’s potential disabilities prior to meeting with their client and are expected to make an entry into DECs regarding any accommodations provided during the attorney-client meeting.
The attorney is expected to ensure all of his or her client’s disability-related accommodations are addressed during the hearing. If there are concerns regarding the disability-related accommodations that are planned for a Board hearing or were provided at a Board hearing, a person or their attorney is encouraged to submit a BPH Form 1074, Request for Reasonable Accommodation – Grievance Process. If a person requires an accommodation at an institution that is not related to a BPH hearing, the person or attorney is encouraged to submit a CDCR Form 1824, Reasonable Modification or Accommodation Request to the institution. Notably, attorneys do not receive access to inmate medical records, but can seek their client’s permission to access such records by submitting a CDCR Form 7385, Authorization for Release of Information.
Any disability-related questions regarding the Board’s hearings may be directed to the Board’s ADA Coordinators at (916) 445-6631, (916) 323-7997, or by email at BPH.ADAUnit@cdcr.ca.gov.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of Parole Hearings are also subject to class action lawsuits regarding persons with disabilities, as described below:
Armstrong v. Brown
Armstrong is a federal class action lawsuit filed on behalf of persons and parolees with various disabilities. The lawsuit was resolved in two stages.
The Armstrong Remedial Plan (ARP I) was issued on January 3, 2001, and applies to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation processes (specifically the Division of Adult Institutions). The remedial plan describes processes for persons with disabilities incarcerated in prison.
The Armstrong Remedial Plan (ARP II) was issued on January 4, 2002, and applies to Board of Parole Hearings and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation processes (specifically Division of Adult Parole Operations). A revised version of the Armstrong Remedial Plan (ARP II) was issued on December 1, 2010. The remedial plan describes processes for the Board’s hearings. Notably, the current version of the Armstrong Remedial Plan (ARP II) pre-dates various changes to the Board’s hearing processes as a result of Criminal Justice Realignment in 2011 and 2013.
Clark v. California
Clark is a federal class action lawsuit filed on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. The Clark Remedial Plan was issued on March 1, 2002. The remedial plan describes the Developmental Disability Program in the prisons.