Parole in Georgia

The Diagnostic System

You've been convicted or plead guilty and been sentenced to a term of imprisonment.  After waiting for a few weeks or more at a county jail, you will be transported to a diagnostic prison.  At this facility, you will be evaluated to determine when you will be eligible for parole.

Seven Deadly Sins

There are certain offenses for which a convicted person will be required to serve one hundred percent of the sentence imposed and will not be eligible for parole.  These offenses are:

  • Murder

  • Rape

  • Aggravated Sodomy

  • Aggravated Child Molestation

  • Aggravated Sexual Battery

  • Armed Robbery

  • Kidnapping

Each of these offenses carries a minimum ten year mandatory incarceration sentence.  Anyone convicted of a second "seven deadly sin" offense will serve life without the possibility of parole.  The first group of inmates sentenced under the Seven Deadly Sins law will not be released until 2005.  These inmates were on average at conviction twenty-two years old.

90% Offenses

In addition to the Seven Deadly Sins, the Parole Board has designated certain offense as to which a person will normally not be considered for parole until they have served 90% of the incarceration sentence.

These offenses are:

  • attempted rape

  • voluntary manslaughter

  • aggravated battery on a police officer

  • aggravated assault (with injury or weapon)

  • enticing a child for indecent purposes

  • cruelty to children

  • feticide

  • incest

  • statutory rape

  • criminal attempt to murder

  • bus hijacking

  • vehicular homicide (while DUI or habitual violator)

  • involuntary manslaughter

  • aggravated stalking

  • residential burglary

It is important to note that there is no separate crime of residential burglary, so the parole board is making its own determination as to whether a burglary is residential or not.  This issue has not yet been challenged and may run afoul of the constitutional guarantees set out in Apprendi v. United States.  At the current time, these offenses will not be eligible for early release prior to service of 90% of the sentence.  The Parole Board can depart from this policy in individual cases, but as of April of 2002 had only done so in 10 cases.

Other Offenses

Other offenses are handled according to a guidelines system.  Under this system, the diagnostic employees determine a crime severity level and a Parole Success Likelihood Score.  The following chart shows the tentative parole release time in months for various combinations of offenses.

Commitment

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