Parole Board Law and Legal Definition

A parole board is a panel of individuals with the authority to determine whether or not a prisoner can be granted parole. On serving at least a minimum portion of the sentence as prescribed by the sentencing judge, an inmate may be released on parole if the parole board so determines.

A parole board consists of people qualified to make judgments about the suitability of a prisoner for return to free society. Qualification required to become a parole board member vary. Each state has a different requirement for parole board appointment. Some states require members to possess a four year degree. Many states do not have written qualifications for parole board members and will allow community members to become board members. However, the basic qualification is that the candidate for membership has to be a person with good moral values.

Every U.S. state has a parole board. There are 52 parole boards in operation in the U.S. However, the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines discontinued parole for people convicted of federal crimes for offenses committed after November 1, 1987. On the federal level and in the District of Columbia, there is no longer parole.