46-23-218. Authority of board to adopt rules -- purpose for training -- data collection. (1) The board may adopt any rules that it considers proper or necessary with respect to the eligibility of prisoners for parole, the conduct of parole and parole revocation hearings, videoconference hearings, telephone conference administrative reviews, progress reviews, clemency proceedings, the conditions to be imposed upon parolees, the training of board members regarding American Indian culture and problems, and other matters pertinent to service on the board.
(2) The legislature finds that American Indians incarcerated in state prisons constitute a disproportionate percentage of the total inmate population when compared to the American Indian population percentage of the total state population. The training of board members regarding American Indian culture and problems is necessary in order for the board to deal appropriately with American Indian inmates appearing before the board.
(3) In consultation with the department, the board shall adopt rules to establish:
(a) parole guidelines to structure and guide parole release decisions and the imposition of release conditions. The guidelines must include, in decreasing order of importance, the prisoner's:
(i) risk and needs levels, as determined by a validated risk and needs assessment;
(ii) participation in risk-reducing programs and treatment;
(iii) institutional behavior as reflected by disciplinary records; and
(iv) offense severity.
(b) a process by which a prisoner who has been denied parole and has more than 1 year before a scheduled hearing or review may request an earlier hearing or review; and
(c) criteria for consideration of conditional discharges, which must include supervision compliance, residential stability, employment stability, engagement in treatment, and other factors indicative of adequate reentry stability.
(4) The board and the department shall compile data to validate the parole guidelines after gathering recidivism results for the last 3 years and every 5 years thereafter. The board may adopt rules to govern the transition to use of parole guidelines. The data collection must start by April 2018.
(5) The board shall annually assess and prioritize inservice training needs and arrange for training to strengthen knowledge and skills needed for case assessment, interviewing, and parole decisionmaking. Board members, parole analysts, and the hearings officers shall attend the training, as well as other board and department staff as needed.