Pre-Hearing Procedures

The procedures below are completed prior to a parole hearing. These procedures are intended to ensure the hearing is complete, fair, and that the rights of everyone who participates in the process are protected.

  1. CDCR’s Case Records Staff review all inmates for parole eligibility upon admission to state prison and calculate all applicable parole eligible dates for each inmate; the results are provided to the inmate and can be appealed through the Department’s inmate appeal process.
  2. Six months before an inmate’s initial parole hearing is scheduled, Case Records Staff conduct an audit to verify the inmate’s parole eligible date(s), shortly thereafter the Board schedule’s the inmate’s hearing.
  3. The inmate’s assigned counselor creates a summary of the inmate’s historical institutional behavior and programming; when CDCR converted all inmate central files from paper to digital/electronic files in 2013, all pre-existing paper files were scanned into one voluminous electronic document; the counselor reviews this information and identifies relevant information from the inmate’s admission date to 2013 and compiles the information for the parole hearing.
  4. The inmate’s assigned counselor produces and serves on the inmate a Notice of Rights, outlining the inmate’s rights during the parole hearing process; the counselor also documents whether the inmate will be using a private attorney or would like an attorney appointed by the Board, any reasonable accommodations the inmate may need under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and whether the inmate would like to review the inmate’s central file prior to the hearing.
  5. Four to five months before the hearing the inmate is assigned an attorney (if the inmates does not have private counsel); Board staff create an electronic copy of the inmate’s Central File, upload it to a secure, cloud-based file-sharing application, and send a link to the inmate’s attorney and the district attorney; within 30 days, appointed counsel is required to consult with the inmate for at least an hour.
  6. Four months before the hearing the inmate is assigned to a forensic psychologist; the psychologists reviews the inmate’s central file, interviews the inmate for approximately two hours, administers the HCR-20, version 3, PCL-R, and the Static 99 (if applicable), drafts a 10 to 20 page Comprehensive Risk Assessment indicating the inmate’s risk for future violence; the report is required to be reviewed and approved by a senior psychologist; also four months prior to the hearing, a supervising correctional counselor reviews the confidential portion of an inmate’s central file, summarizes the information, which is then provided to the inmate, the inmate’s attorney, the district attorney, and the panel.
  7. Three months prior to the parole hearing Board staff provide notice of the hearing to registered victims, district attorneys, the sentencing judge, the inmate’s counsel at sentencing, and the law enforcement agency that investigated the commitment offense(s); Board staff also electronically pull relevant documents from the Department’s main computer system and the inmate’s central file, upload them into a secure, cloud-based file-sharing application and make them available to the inmate’s attorney, the district attorney, and the panel assigned to the hearing.
  8. Two months prior to the hearing the inmate’s counselor serves the inmate with the Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Board staff provide it to the inmate’s attorney, the district attorney, and the hearing panel; the inmate’s attorney is required to consult with the inmate again for an hour.
  9. One month prior to the hearing an interpreter is hired for the hearing, if needed.
  10. Any written objections to alleged factual errors in the Comprehensive Risk Assessment are reviewed and addressed by the Board’s Chief Counsel and Chief Psychologist.
  11. Any pre-hearing motions, requests to postpone or waive the hearing, or requests for substitution of counsel are addressed by a deputy commissioner.
  12. Ten days prior to the hearing Board staff compile any information added to the inmate’s central file and documents regarding the hearing received since the electronic documents were initially distributed and provides them to the inmate’s attorney, the district attorney, and the hearing panel.
  13. If an inmate has a physical or cognitive disability, a staff assistant may be assigned to assist the inmate throughout the hearing process.