Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Granting of Parole

Nonmedical Parole Criteria -- Information Board May Consider

46-23-208. Nonmedical parole criteria -- information board may consider. (1) The board may release an eligible prisoner on nonmedical parole only when:

(a) there is reasonable probability that the prisoner can be released without detriment to the prisoner or to the community;

(b) release is in the best interests of society;

(c) the prisoner is able and willing to fulfill the obligations of a law-abiding citizen; and

(d) the prisoner does not require:

(i) continued correctional treatment that cannot be found in the community; or

(ii) other programs available only in a correctional facility that will substantially enhance the prisoner's capability to lead a law-abiding life if released, including mental health therapy or vocational training.

(2) Parole may not be ordered as an award of clemency or a reduction of sentence or pardon.

(3) For a prisoner sentenced to be committed to the custody of the director of the department of public health and human services as provided in 46-14-312:

(a) the board may require as a condition of parole participation in a supervised mental health treatment program, if consistent with mental health services recommendations provided by a mental health professional, as that term is defined in 53-21-102, to ensure that the prisoner continues to treat the prisoner's mental disorder; and

(b) parole may be revoked if a prisoner fails to comply with the terms of a supervised mental health treatment program described in subsection (3)(a), in which case the prisoner must be recommitted to the custody of the director of the department of public health and human services pursuant to 46-14-312.

(4) In making its determination regarding nonmedical parole release, a hearing panel shall consider all available and pertinent information regarding the prisoner, including the following factors:

(a) the circumstances of the offense;

(b) the prisoner's social history and prior criminal record, including the nature and circumstances of the offense, date of offense, and frequency of previous offenses;

(c) the prisoner's conduct, employment, and attitude in prison, including particularly whether the prisoner has taken advantage of opportunities for treatment and whether the prisoner is clear of major disciplinary violations prior to the hearing;

(d) the reports of any physical, psychological, and mental evaluations that have been made;

(e) the prisoner's maturity, stability, sense of responsibility, and development of traits and behaviors that increase the likelihood the prisoner will conform the prisoner's behavior to the requirements of law;

(f) the adequacy of the prisoner's release plan;

(g) the prisoner's ability and readiness to assume obligations and undertake responsibilities;

(h) the prisoner's education and training;

(i) the prisoner's family status and whether the prisoner has relatives who display an interest or whether the prisoner has other close and constructive associations in the community;

(j) the prisoner's employment history and occupational skills and the stability of the prisoner's past employment;

(k) the type of residence, neighborhood, or community in which the prisoner plans to live;

(l) the prisoner's past use of chemicals, including alcohol, and past habitual or abusive use of chemicals;

(m) the prisoner's mental health needs;

(n) the prisoner's attitude toward law and authority;

(o) the prisoner's behavior and attitude during any previous experience of supervision and the recency of the supervision;

(p) written or oral statements from criminal justice authorities or any other interested person or the interested person's legal representative, including written or oral statements from a victim regarding the effects of the crime on the victim. A victim's statement may also include but is not limited to the circumstances surrounding the crime, the manner in which the crime was committed, and the victim's opinion as to whether the offender should be paroled.

(q) whether parole at this time would diminish the seriousness of the offense; and

(r) any and all other factors that the hearing panel determines to be relevant.

(5) A victim's statement may be kept confidential.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 198, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 392, L. 2017.