Elderly Parole Hearings

As a result of the state’s prison overcrowding, a federal court on February 10, 2014, ordered the state to implement a parole process for inmates 60 years or older and who have been incarcerated for at least 25 years. In response, the state implemented the Elderly Parole Program. Subsequently, Assembly Bill 3234 (Chpt. 334, 9/30/20) modified the age to inmates who are 50 years and older and who have been incarcerated for at least 20 years.

Inmates Who Are Eligible for an Elderly Parole Hearing

The Elderly Parole Program gives inmates a parole suitability hearing once they are both age 50 and have served 20 years of continuous incarceration. Inmates sentenced to fixed, determinate terms as well as those sentenced to life with the possibility of parole are eligible for the program. Inmates who are sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, or who are sentenced to death are not eligible for the program.

Factors the Board Considers at an Elderly Parole Hearing

At an elderly parole hearing, the hearing panel will give special consideration to the inmate’s advanced age, long-term confinement, and diminished physical condition, if any, when determining the inmate’s suitability for parole. In addition, these same factors are also taken into consideration by the Board’s forensic clinical psychologists when they prepare risk assessments for elderly parole hearings.

Release Dates and Denial Lengths for Elderly Parole Hearings

If an inmate is granted parole at an elderly parole hearing, the inmate will be eligible for release immediately after the decision granting him or her parole is final (which can take up to five months). The decision granting the inmate parole is subject to the Board’s decision review process and the Governor’s review process.

If an inmate is denied parole at an elderly parole hearing, he or she will be denied parole for 15, 10, 7, 5, or 3 years.

If you need additional information about elderly parole hearings, please write or call the Board at:

Board of Parole Hearings
Post Office Box 4036
Sacramento, CA  95812-4036
Phone:  916-445-4072

Victims who would like to request notice and an opportunity to attend an inmate’s elderly parole hearing or who would like to request notice of an inmate’s release must register with CDCR’s Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services. For further information, or to inquire about court ordered restitution, please visit CDCR’s Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services website or call toll-free 1-877-256-6877.