FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q Who can attend the hearings?
A Any interested person.
Q Who can speak at the hearings?
A The individuals asking the Board to grant relief will be afforded the first opportunity to state the reasons relief ought to be granted. The officials and individuals entitled to notice under the statute will next be afforded an opportunity to express their views. The Board may, in its discretion, permit any other person to offer information that might be helpful in making its decision. The Board may question any person appearing before them. If a member of the Board desires information from any person not present, the Board may recess while the Board seeks to contact that person.
Q When are board decisions given?
A Board decisions are announced at the conclusion of each hearing.
Q Where are we located?
A Primary Board & Central Administrative Office - 301 South Ripley Street see map
Q Do we need an attorney?
A No, but you may retain an attorney if you so desire.
Q As a victim, what type of assistance is available?
A You may contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles Victims Services Officer, (334) 353-8067 . Also, the Attorney Generals Office has a victim’s assistance office. The toll free number is 1-800-626-7676, the Montgomery number is 242-4165.
Q As a victim, do I have to participate in the Board's hearings?
A Your participation can help the Board make better decisions, but you have the right to decide whether to participate or not. Unless you specifically tell us in writing that you don't want to participate, we are obligated to make diligent efforts to locate you and give you notice of meetings at which the Board considers relief in the case that affected you. We take this responsibility seriously. Sometimes, this is the first opportunity a victim has had to tell a decision-maker in the criminal justice system how the crime affected them. It is not unusual for a victim to share crucial information with the Board, which assists the Board in weighing the risks and benefits of paroling or pardoning an offender. You have the right to participate or to abstain from participating. You may express your views in writing, and you may attend the Board's consideration meeting to express your views directly to the Board. Anything that you send us in writing is protected by a very strong confidentiality law, whether you favor or oppose relief to the prisoner. If you want to participate, it would be very helpful to the Board's staff (and would help conserve scarce tax dollars) for you to keep our Victim Service Office informed of your current address. If you don't want us to track you down and notify you when the Board considers the case affecting you, we will honor a written statement from you, requesting that we not notify you. To reduce the risk that someone else might fraudulently submit such a statement in your name, we request that you submit such a statement in person to our Victim Service Office or to one of our Probation and Parole Officers in your community, and that you present a photo ID so that this officer can confirm that you are the person entitled to notice. This Board and its staff are committed to work with you and to honor your legitimate role in the criminal justice system. We want to make appropriate decisions, informed by the best available information, and we want to honor your right to choose whether to express your views publicly or to preserve your privacy.
Q Should I attend?
A It is not mandatory to attend. This is an Open Public Hearing and you may attend if you so desire. You may present your views in writing if you choose not to attend.
Q If parole is granted when is the expected release date?
A We cannot give an exact date but you may call 1-334-242-8700 on Wednesday afternoon for the releases scheduled for the following Monday.
Q What would slow down an inmate’s release?
A Unsatisfactory home and/or job plan.
Out-of -state home and job plan.
Needing to submit aftercare plan and/or mental health program.
Required to attend substance abuse program before release.
Sex offenders require thirty (30) day notification. (Community Notification Act)
Requirement to attend halfway house.
Q Will the inmate be present at the hearing?
A Normally the inmate is not allowed to attend. However, if the inmate is on work release or on the SIR program, he/she may be at the hearing.
Q If an inmate is serving a split sentence, is he eligible for parole?
A No, if the split sentence is the only case he has. However, if he has other cases, he would be eligible after the mandatory time of the split is completed, unless the split sentence is consecutive.
Q How can I get someone transferred to another institution?
A The Board of Pardons and Paroles does not transfer inmates, this is handled by the Department of Corrections. They can be reached at (334) 353-9500.
Q How can I get someone on work release, SIR, or PDL?
A The Board of Pardons and Paroles does not place inmates on work release, SIR, or PDL. This is handled by the Department of Corrections. They can be reached at (334) 353-9500.
Q If I have a disability and wish to attend a parole hearing is assistance available?
A Yes, if you have a disability and need special assistance, contact Susan Belser at (334) 353-3480 or for hearing impaired (334) 242-0110.
Q When is a person eligible to apply for a pardon with restoration of civil and political rights in Alabama?
A Upon the completion of a sentence or after a person has completed 3 consecutive years of successful Alabama parole. Persons still under sentence and not having completed 3 years of successful parole may apply for a pardon, but it must be based on innocence and requires the approval of the sentencing court or prosecuting District Attorney. An individual placed on supervised or unsupervised probation may apply for a pardon after completion of their probationary period.
Q How do I apply for a pardon?
A A request for a pardon can be made by writing the Board of Pardons and Paroles at P O Box 302405, Montgomery AL 36130-2405. The request should include all of the following information:
1) Name under which convicted
2) True Name
3) Sex and race
4) Date of birth
5) Social Security Number
6) AIS# (Alabama Prison number), if you have one
7) Current physical address including county
8) Current mailing address, if different
9) Indicate if the conviction was a State or Federal Conviction
10) Home telephone number
11) Work telephone number, if you have one
12) Complete list of charges, county(s) of conviction and year(s) of conviction.
Q What is involved in the pardon process?
A Once a request is received, it will be assigned to a probation officer for the completion of an investigation. The investigation will include current information on the applicant's home situation, job status, and an updated criminal arrest record, written references and other information as warranted. Once the investigation is complete, a hearing will be set before the Parole Board. Required notification will be sent to the victim, certain officials in the jurisdiction of the conviction, and the applicant. Once all required parties are notified, a hearing will be held before the Parole Board and a decision will be made to grant or deny the pardon request.
Q Are records of conviction destroyed in cases where a pardon is granted with a restoration of civil and political rights?
A No. Alabama does not expunge records. The arrest and conviction will continue to show up when a criminal history is run. It is important to keep a copy of your pardon in case it is ever requested.
Q If the Parole Board grants a pardon, does that restore all of my rights?
A Not necessarily. The Board may grant a full pardon, which restores all rights, or they may grant a pardon with restrictions. The Board may restrict the right to possess a firearm and/or they may require that a person convicted of a sex offense continue to comply with all sex offender restrictions. They may also not relieve an offender of the consequences of the habitual offender act. The Board has the discretion to place other restrictions as deemed appropriate.
Q Does Alabama accept applications for pardons with restoration of civil and political rights for individuals with a federal conviction?
A Yes, if the sentence is complete. A pardon with restoration of civil and political rights may be granted to applicants who reside in Alabama. If the applicant resides in another state, we recommend that they apply in the state of residence. A pardon from Alabama on a federal case is only good in Alabama.
Q Does the Board of Pardons and Paroles pardon misdemeanor convictions?
A Yes, if the conviction is considered a crime of moral turpitude under the Alabama Law. Example of crimes of moral turpitude are: theft, attempted theft, receiving stolen property, bad checks, domestic violence, fraud, desertion from the military and attempting to defraud.
Q How likely is it that a person would receive a full pardon?
A Very Unlikely. The Parole Board rarely restores gun rights, relieves a person of the consequences of complying with the Sex Offender Notification Law or relieves an offender of the consequences resulting from a conviction under the Habitual Offender Act. The Board restores these rights in less than 2% of cases considered.