2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:574.20 - Medical parole program; medical treatment furlough; eligibility; revocation

(4) MEDICAL PAROLE

§574.20. Medical parole program; medical treatment furlough; eligibility; revocation

            A. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Part or any other law to the contrary, and except as provided in this Section, any person sentenced to the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections may, upon referral by the department, be considered for medical parole or medical treatment furlough by the committee on parole. Consideration for medical parole or medical treatment furlough pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be in addition to any other parole for which an inmate may be eligible.

            B.(1) The committee on parole shall establish the medical parole program to be administered by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. An offender eligible for consideration for release under the program shall be any offender who, because of an existing medical or physical condition, is determined by the department to be within one of the following designations:

            (a) "Permanently disabled offender" means any offender who is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical impairment which can be expected to result in death or which is or can be expected to be permanently irreversible.

            (b) "Terminally ill offender" means any offender who, because of an existing medical condition, is irreversibly terminally ill. For the purposes of this Section, "terminally ill" is defined as having a life expectancy of less than one year due to an underlying medical condition.

            (2) Medical parole shall not be available to any offender serving a sentence for a conviction of first degree murder (R.S. 14:30) or second degree murder (R.S. 14:30.1) or an offender who is awaiting execution.

            C.(1)(a) The committee on parole shall establish the medical treatment furlough program to be administered by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for the purpose of utilizing off-site medical facilities for an eligible offender's medical treatment.

            (b) For purposes of this Section, "off-site medical facility" means an acute care hospital, nursing home, or other licensed medical facility which complies with all state and federal laws and regulations and is appropriate to meet the offender's medical and treatment needs.

            (2)(a) An offender eligible for consideration for release under the medical treatment furlough program shall be any offender who is ineligible for release on medical parole pursuant to Subsection B of this Section and is determined by the department to be a limited-mobility offender. 

            (b) For the purposes of this Section, "limited-mobility offender" means any offender who is unable to perform activities of daily living without help or is bedbound, including but not limited to prolonged coma and medical ventilation.

            (3) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the committee on parole may authorize the release of an eligible offender on medical treatment furlough when all of the following conditions are met:

            (a) Placement is secured in an acute care hospital, nursing home, or other appropriate medical facility able to meet the offender's medical and treatment needs.

            (b) All monitoring, security, and supervision requirements that the committee deems necessary are secured by the division of probation and parole.

            (c) The committee determines that the offender does not present a substantial flight risk.

            (4) A medical treatment furlough shall not be available to any offender serving a sentence for a conviction of first degree murder (R.S. 14:30) or an offender who is awaiting execution.

            D.(1) No offender shall be recommended for parole or medical treatment furlough pursuant to this Section by the department until full consideration has been given to the offender's crime and criminal history, length of time served in custody, institutional conduct, an indication that the offender represents a low risk to himself or society, and a medical assessment of the offender's condition. In the assessment of risk, emphasis shall be given to the offender's medical condition and how this relates to his overall risk to society.

            (2) Neither the department nor the warden of the correctional facility shall recommend that the offender's sentence be commuted for any medical reasons contemplated by this Section.

            E.(1) The authority to grant medical parole or medical treatment furlough pursuant to this Section shall rest solely with the committee on parole, and the committee shall establish additional conditions of the parole or medical treatment furlough in accordance with the provisions of this Subpart.

            (2) The Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall identify those offenders who may be eligible for medical parole or medical treatment furlough based upon available medical information. In considering an offender for medical parole or medical treatment furlough, the committee may require that additional medical evidence be produced or that additional medical examinations be conducted.

            (3) The committee on parole shall determine the risk to public safety and shall grant medical parole or medical treatment furlough only after determining that the offender does not pose a threat to public safety and only after the offender, as a condition of the medical parole or medical treatment furlough, waives his right to medical confidentiality and privacy as to the notice requirements in Paragraph (5) of this Subsection.

            (4) An offender who is denied medical parole or medical treatment furlough may apply for a rehearing within the time frame applicable to a denial of parole under any other provision of this Part.

            (5)(a) Within seven business days of the decision of the committee on parole to grant medical parole or medical treatment furlough to an offender, the department shall notify any off-site medical facility designated for an eligible offender's medical treatment of the decision.

            (b) The off-site medical facility shall, not less than fourteen days before the offender begins treatment at the facility, provide notice to its patients or residents that the offender will be receiving treatment at that facility.

            (c) The off-site medical facility shall, not less than fourteen days before the offender begins treatment at the facility, provide notice that the offender will be receiving treatment at that facility to each patient's or resident's next of kin, curator, tutor, or person having power of attorney for the patient or resident.

            F. The parole term of an offender released on medical parole or medical treatment furlough shall be for the remainder of the offender's sentence, without diminution of sentence for good behavior. Supervision of the offender shall consist of periodic medical evaluations at intervals to be determined by the committee at the time of release. Release of protected health information to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or the committee on parole shall be in accordance with all state and federal laws and regulations.

            G. If it is discovered through the supervision of the offender released on medical parole or medical treatment furlough that his condition has improved such that he would not then be eligible for medical parole or medical treatment furlough under the provisions of this Subpart, the committee may order that the offender be returned to the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to await a hearing to determine whether his parole or medical treatment furlough shall be revoked. Any offender whose medical parole or medical treatment furlough is revoked due to an improvement in his condition shall resume serving the balance of his sentence with credit given for the duration of the medical parole or medical treatment furlough. If the offender's medical parole or medical treatment furlough is revoked due to an improvement in his condition, and he would be otherwise eligible for parole, he may then be considered for parole under the provisions of R.S. 15:574.4. Medical parole and medical treatment furlough may also be revoked for violation of any condition of the parole as established by the committee on parole.

            H. The committee on parole shall promulgate such rules as are necessary to effectuate this Subpart, including rules relative to the conduct of medical parole and medical treatment furlough hearings, and the conditions of medical parole and medical treatment furlough release.

            Acts 1990, No. 563, §1; Acts 1993, No. 938, §1; Acts 2012, No. 714, §8; Acts 2014, No. 153, §1; Acts 2017, No. 280, §3, eff. Nov. 1, 2017; Acts 2018, No. 573, §1.

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