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State Laws
State Citation Medical Parole Geriatric Parole Who is the Authority?
Alabama § 14-14-1 et seq. X X Department of Corrections
Alaska §§ 33.16.085, 33.16.087, 33.16.090 X X Board of Parole
Arizona N/A      
Arkansas § 12-29-404 X   Parole Board based on recommendation of Department of Correction
California Penal Code §§ 3550, 3055 X X Board of Parole Hearings
Colorado §§ 17-1-102, 17-22.5-403.5 X   Board of Parole
Connecticut §§ 54-131a, et seq. X   Board of Pardons and Paroles
Delaware 11 Del. C. § 4346(e) X   Board of Parole based on recommendation of Department of Correction
Florida § 947.149 X   Commission on Offender Review based on recommendation of Department of Corrections
Georgia Ga. Const, Art. IV, Sec. II Paragraph II, (e), § 42-9-42.1 X X State Board of Pardons and Paroles
Hawaii Haw. Admin. Rules 23-700-29 X   Paroling Authority
Idaho § 20-223 X   Commission of Pardons and Parole
Illinois N/A      
Indiana § 11-13-3-3, Admin. Code 220 IAC 1.1-4-1.5 X   Parole Board
Iowa N/A      
Kansas §§ 22-3728, 22-3729 X   Prisoner Review Board
Kentucky § 439.3405 X   Parole Board
Louisiana §§ 15:574.20, 15:833.2, 15:574.4 X X Committee on Parole based on recommendation of Department of Public Safety and Corrections
Maine 34-A MRSA § 3036-A(10) (relates to state correctional facilities), 30-A MRSA § 1659-A (relates to county jails) X   Corrections Commissioner
Maryland Correctional Services Code § 7-309, Criminal Law Code § 14-101 X X State Parole Commission
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 127, § 119A as enacted by SB 2371 (2018) X   Superintendent of correctional facility considers petition and develops recommendation, decision made by Corrections Commissioner
Michigan § 791.235 X   Parole Board based on recommendation of office of health care
Minnesota § 244.05 X   Corrections Commissioner
Mississippi §§ 47-7-3, 47-7-4 X X Corrections Commissioner and Corrections Medical Director
Missouri § 217.250 X X Board of Probation and Parole approves release after recommendation of chief medical administrator approved by corrections Director
Montana § 46-23-210 X   Board of Pardons and Parole
Nebraska §§ 83-1,110.02, 83-1,110.03 X   Board of Parole
Nevada § 209.3925 X   Corrections Director
New Hampshire § 651-A:10-a X   Adult Parole Board
New Jersey § 30:4-123.51c X   Parole Board
New Mexico § 31-21-25.1 X X Parole Board
New York Executive Law §§ 259-r, 259-s X   Board of Parole
North Carolina § 15A-1369 et seq. X X Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission
North Dakota § 12-59-08 X   Parole Board
Ohio § 2967.05 X   Governor based on recommendation of Director of Rehabilitation and Correction
Oklahoma 57 Okl. St. §§ 332.16, 332.18, 332.21 X X Pardon and Parole Board
Oregon § 144.126 X X State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision
Pennsylvania 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9777 X   Sentencing Court
Rhode Island § 13-8.1-1 et seq. X   Parole Board
South Carolina § 24-21-715 X   Board of Paroles and Pardons
South Dakota HB 1109 (2018) X X Board of Pardons and Paroles based on recommendation of Corrections Secretary
Tennessee § 41-21-227 X   Corrections Commissioner
Texas Government Code § 508.146 X   Board of Pardons and Paroles
Utah Admin. Code R671-314 X X Board of Pardons and Parole based on recommendation of Department of Corrections
Vermont 28 V.S.A. § 502a X   Parole Board
Virginia Va. Code Ann § 53.1 – 40.01   X  
Washington § 9.94A.728 X X Corrections Secretary
West Virginia N/A      
Wisconsin § 302.113 X X Sentencing Court based on recommendation of Program Review Committee at correctional institution
Wyoming § 7-13-424 X   Board of Parole

Source: NCSL 2018

Medical Parole

There are 45 states with medical parole laws. These statutes typically specify that if, based on the judgement of a medical professional, an inmate suffers from a serious medical condition that makes him or her no longer a threat to public safety or an inmate is likely to die within a set time frame due to a serious medical condition, the inmate may be considered for release from incarceration. The releasing authority must also determine that the inmate is not likely to present a risk for reoffending.

Inmates sentenced to death or serving a life sentence are typically ineligible for release. Some states specify that inmates must be sentenced for a non-violent offense or stipulate offenses which are not eligible for release consideration.

Statutes in 35 states specifically address terminal conditions. Some of these statutes specify eligibility based on the timeframe within which an inmate is likely to die because of illness to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. The timeframe ranges from 30 days to two years. A number of states do not explicitly provide a timeframe.

Of the 45 states with medical parole statutes, 42 specify a standard for the release of inmates who have serious medical conditions that may not be terminal but that prevent them from presenting a risk to public safety. In some states, for instance, the standard requires that an irreversible physical or mental condition prevents an inmate from being able to commit a crime or present a danger to society. Further detail on the state standards for these illnesses are below.

The majority of states that have medical parole policies also specify that, if the condition of an individual released on medical parole improves so that he or she would no longer be eligible for release, the parole may be revoked and the person may be returned to custody to serve the remaining sentence.

Medical Parole
State Statutory Citation Medical Parole Elements
    Are terminal conditions specified? Is there a timeframe? Standard for non-terminal
conditions
Revocable if condition improves?
Alabama § 14-14-1 et seq. Yes, death within 12 months Permanent, irreversible physical or mental health condition prevents inmate from being able to perpetrate a violent physical action or initiate or participate in a criminal act Yes
Alaska §§ 33.16.085, 33.16.087, 33.16.090 No Severely medically or cognitively disabled as certified in writing by a physician Yes
Arkansas § 12-29-404 Yes, death within two years Medical condition that renders inmate permanently and irreversibly incapacitated and requires immediate and long-term care Yes
California Penal Code §§ 3550, 3055 No Permanently medically incapacitated with condition that renders inmate unable to perform activities of basic daily living and requires 24-hour care Yes
Colorado §§ 17-1-102, 17-22.5-403.5 No At least 55 years old, diagnosed as suffering from chronic condition (physical or mental) OR any age, diagnosed as suffering chronic condition (physical or mental) that requires costly care or treatment Not specified, length of parole between six and 36 months
Connecticut §§ 54-131a, et seq. Yes, death within six months So physically or mentally debilitated, incapacitated or infirm as a result of advanced age or a medical condition as to be physically incapable of presenting a danger to society, and has served not less than one-half their sentence Yes
Delaware 11 Del. C. § 4346(e) No Physical or mental condition demands treatment that the department cannot furnish Yes
Florida § 947.149 Yes, No Permanently incapacitated inmate—condition renders the inmate permanently and irreversibly physically incapacitated so that the inmate does not constitute a danger to themselves or others Yes
Georgia Ga. Const, Art. IV, Sec. II Paragraph II, (e), § 42-9-42.1 Yes, No Not specified Yes
Hawaii Haw. Admin. Rules 23-700-29 Yes, No Seriously debilitating medical condition for which treatment is not available in prison, or condition renders the inmate too cognitively impaired and/or functionally compromised to pose a risk to public safety Not specified
Idaho § 20-223 Yes, No Existing physical condition renders inmate permanently and irreversibly physically incapacitated Not specified
Indiana § 11-13-3-3, Admin. Code 220 IAC 1.1-4-1.5 No Board must consider seriousness of condition, whether it cannot be treated while incarcerated, and whether it would prevent inmate from engaging in future serious criminal activity Not specified
Kansas §§ 22-3728, 22-3729 Yes, death within 30 days Inmate must be functionally incapacitated—current medical and mental health of inmate is factor to be considered in determining incapacitation Not specified
Kentucky § 439.3405 Yes, death within one year Severe chronic lung disease, end-stage heart disease, severe neuro-muscular disease such as multiple sclerosis, or severely limited mobility because of  paralysis as a result of stroke, disease or trauma, or is dependent on external life support systems Not specified
Louisiana §§ 15:574.20, 15:833.2, 15:574.4 Yes, death within one year Permanently incapacitated inmate—condition renders the inmate permanently and irreversibly physically incapacitated so that the inmate does not constitute a danger to themselves or others Yes
Maine 34-A MRSA § 3036-A(10) (relates to state correctional facilities), 30-A MRSA § 1659-A (relates to county jails) Yes, No Severely incapacitating medical condition such that care outside a correctional facility is medically appropriate Yes
Maryland Correctional Services Code § 7-309, Criminal Law Code § 14-101 No Debilitated or incapacitated by a medical or mental health condition, disease or syndrome, as to pose no danger to public safety Yes
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 127, § 119A as enacted by SB 2371 (2018) Yes, death within 18 months Physical or cognitive incapacitation that appears irreversible and that is so debilitating that the inmate does not pose a public safety risk Yes
Michigan § 791.235 No Physically or mentally incapacitated Not specified
Minnesota § 244.05 Yes, No Medical condition such that release poses no threat to the public Yes
Mississippi §§ 47-7-3, 47-7-4 Yes, No Significant permanent physical medical condition with no possibility of recovery Yes
Missouri § 217.250 Yes, No Not specified Not specified
Montana § 46-23-210 Yes, death within six months Medical condition requiring extensive medical attention Yes
Nebraska §§ 83-1,110.02, 83-1,110.03 Yes, No Permanently incapacitated Yes
Nevada § 209.3925 Yes, death within 12 months Physically incapacitated and in ill health to such a degree that the inmate does not pose a threat to the safety of the public Not specified
New Hampshire § 651-A:10-a Yes, No Debilitating, incapacitating or incurable medical condition or syndrome Not specified
New Jersey § 30:4-123.51c Yes, death within six months Permanent physical incapacity—medical condition that renders the inmate permanently unable to perform activities of basic daily living, results in the inmate requiring 24-hour care Yes
New Mexico § 31-21-25.1 Yes, death within six months Permanently and irreversibly physically incapacitated Not specified
New York Executive Law §§ 259-r, 259-s Yes, No Significant and permanent condition, disease or syndrome that has rendered the inmate so physically or cognitively debilitated they do not present a danger to society Parole for six months, must be renewed
North Carolina § 15A-1369 et seq. Yes, death within six months Permanent and irreversible physical incapacitation as a result of an existing physical or medical condition Yes
North Dakota § 12-59-08 Yes, No Serious medical condition Not specified
Ohio § 2967.05 Yes, terminal equals death within 12 months, imminent danger of death equals death within six months Any diagnosable medical condition, including mental dementia and severe, permanent medical or cognitive disability, that prevents the inmate from completing activities of daily living without significant assistance Yes
Oklahoma 57 Okl. St. §§ 332.16, 332.18, 332.21 Yes, No Medical condition has rendered inmate no longer an unreasonable threat to public safety Yes
Oregon § 144.126 Yes, No Severe medical condition Not specified
Pennsylvania 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9777 Yes, death within one year Not specified Yes
Rhode Island § 13-8.1-1 et seq. Yes, death within 18 months Severely ill—suffering from a significant and permanent or chronic physical and/or mental condition OR
Permanently physically incapacitated—condition caused by injury, disease, illness or cognitive insult such as dementia or persistent vegetative state, that permanently and irreversibly physically incapacitates the individual
Yes
South Carolina § 24-21-715 Yes, death within two years Permanently incapacitated—no longer poses a public safety risk because of a medical condition that renders them permanently and irreversibly incapacitated and that requires immediate and long-term residential care. Yes
South Dakota HB 1109 (2018) Yes, No Seriously ill and not likely to recover. Requires extensive medical care or significant chronic medical care Yes
Tennessee § 41-21-227 Yes, No Inmate can no longer take care of themselves in a prison environment because of severe physical or psychological deterioration Yes
Texas Government Code § 508.146 Yes, No Mental illness, an intellectual disability or a physical disability, or a condition requiring long-term care or is in a persistent vegetative state or being a person with an organic brain syndrome with significant to total mobility impairment Not specified
Utah Admin. Code R671-314 No Public safety and recidivism risk is significantly reduced because of the effects or symptoms of medical infirmity, disease, or disability, or mental health disease or disability; or if an offender suffers from a serious and persistent medical condition that requires extensive medical attention, nursing home care or palliative care Not specified
Vermont 28 V.S.A. § 502a Yes, No Serious medical condition renders the inmate unlikely to be physically capable of presenting a danger to society Not specified
Washington § 9.94A.728 No Medical condition is serious and expected to require costly care or treatment, and inmate is physically incapacitated due to medical condition Yes
Wisconsin § 302.113 No Extraordinary health condition afflicting an inmate such as advanced age, infirmity or disability of the person or a need for medical treatment or services not available within a correctional institution Not specified
Wyoming   Yes, death within 12 months Serious incapacitating medical need, incapacitated by age to the extent that the ability to provide self-care is substantially diminished, permanently physically incapacitated Yes

States not included in this chart have not legislatively established medical parole.

Source: NCSL 2018

Geriatric Parole

Geriatric parole has been legislatively authorized in 17 states. These statutes typically permit inmates over a certain age who have served a specified number of years or percentage of their sentence to be eligible for release on parole. Alabama has the lowest age for geriatric parole, setting it at 55 years. Most other states set the limit somewhere between 60 and 65. Some states do not set a specific age. In Missouri, for instance, the inmate's age must require long-term nursing home care. 

Most states require a minimum of 10 years of an inmate’s sentence to be served before being eligible for consideration for geriatric parole. California sets the minimum length of time served at 25 years and states such as Mississippi and Oklahoma provide a term of years or a certain percentage of the sentence to be served.

Inmates who are sentenced to death or serving a life sentence are typically ineligible for release. Some states specify that inmates must be sentenced for a non-violent offense or specify offenses which are not eligible for release consideration.

Geriatric Parole
State Statutory Citation Geriatric Parole Elements
    Age when eligibility begins Length/portion of time served
Alabama § 14-14-1 et seq. 55 Not specified
Alaska §§ 33.16.085, 33.16.087, 33.16.090 60 At least 10 years
California Penal Code §§ 3550, 3055 60 Minimum 25 years
Georgia Ga. Const, Art. IV, Sec. II Paragraph II, (e), § 42-9-42.1 62 Not specified
Louisiana §§ 15:574.20, 15:833.2, 15:574.4 60 At least 10 years
Maryland Correctional Services Code § 7-309, Criminal Law Code § 14-101 60 At least 15 years
Mississippi §§ 47-7-3, 47-7-4 60 At least 10 years or, for certain serious offenses, at least one-fourth of sentence
Missouri § 217.250 Age requires long-term nursing home care Not specified
New Mexico § 31-21-25.1 65 and suffers chronic infirmity, illness, or disease related to aging Not specified
North Carolina § 15A-1369 et seq. 65 and suffers chronic infirmity, illness, or disease related to aging Not specified
Oklahoma 57 Okl. St. §§ 332.16, 332.18, 332.21 60 10 years or one-third of sentence, whichever is shorter
Oregon § 144.126 Not specified, permanently incapacitated to prevent movement from place to place without assistance Not specified
South Dakota HB 1109 (2018) 65 At least 10 years
Utah Admin. Code R671-314 Not specified, public safety and recidivism risk significantly reduced due to advanced age Not specified
Virginia Va. Code Ann § 53.1 – 40.01 65
60
At least five years
At least 10 years
Washington § 9.94A.728 Not specified, physically incapacitated due to age Not specified
Wisconsin § 302.113 65
60
At least five years
At least 10 years

States not included in this chart have not legislatively established geriatric parole.

Source: NCSL 2018

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