2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:574.4 - Parole; eligibility; juvenile offenders

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:574.4 (2018)

§574.4. Parole; eligibility; juvenile offenders

            A.(1)(a) Unless eligible at an earlier date, a person otherwise eligible for parole shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving twenty-five percent of the sentence imposed. The provisions of this Subparagraph shall not apply to any person whose instant offense is a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B), a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541, or any offense which would constitute a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541, regardless of the date of conviction. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the provisions of this Subparagraph shall be applicable to persons convicted of offenses prior to and on or after November 1, 2017.

            (b)(i) A person, otherwise eligible for parole, whose instant offense is a second conviction of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a first or second conviction of a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving seventy-five percent of the sentence imposed. A person convicted a third or subsequent time of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a third or subsequent time of a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 shall not be eligible for parole.

            (ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of Item (i) of this Subparagraph, a person, otherwise eligible for parole, convicted of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) who does not have a prior felony conviction for a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a prior felony conviction for a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving sixty-five percent of the sentence imposed. The provisions of this Item shall not apply to any person convicted of a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541.

            (iii) The provisions of this Subparagraph shall be applicable only to persons who commit an offense or whose probation or parole is revoked on or after November 1, 2017.

            (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection or any other law to the contrary, unless eligible for parole at an earlier date, a person committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a term or terms of imprisonment with or without benefit of parole for thirty years or more shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving at least twenty years of the term or terms of imprisonment in actual custody and upon reaching the age of forty-five. This provision shall not apply to a person serving a life sentence unless the sentence has been commuted to a fixed term of years. The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to any person who has been convicted under the provisions of R.S. 14:64. The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to any person who has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541.

            (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (A)(1) or (2) of this Section or any other provision of law to the contrary, unless eligible for parole at an earlier date, a person committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections serving a life sentence for the production, manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing or possessing with intent to produce, manufacture, or distribute heroin shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving at least fifteen years of imprisonment in actual custody.

            (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, unless eligible for parole at an earlier date, a person committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a term or terms of imprisonment with or without benefit of parole who has served at least ten years of the term or terms of imprisonment in actual custody shall be eligible for parole consideration upon reaching the age of sixty years if all of the following conditions are met:

            (a) The offender has not been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541, or convicted of an offense which would constitute a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541, regardless of the date of conviction.

            (b) The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (c) The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of prerelease programming in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:827.1 if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (d) The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.

            (e) The offender has obtained a GED credential, unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED credential due to a learning disability. If the offender is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED credential, the offender shall complete at least one of the following: a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job-skills training program.

            (f) The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (5)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (A)(1) or Subsection B of this Section or any other provision of law to the contrary, a person committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall be eligible for parole consideration upon serving fifteen years in actual custody if all of the following conditions are met:

            (i) The person was not eligible for parole consideration at an earlier date.

            (ii) The person was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence for the instant offense and the instant offense was committed between June 29, 1995, and June 15, 2001.

            (iii) The person is eligible for relief under R.S. 15:308, including a person serving a life sentence with or without additional terms of years.

            (b) The provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph shall not apply to any person who was sentenced for a third or subsequent felony when the third or subsequent felony and two of the prior felonies are any of the following:

            (i) A crime of violence pursuant to R.S. 14:2(B).

            (ii) A sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 when the victim is under the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of the offense.

            (iii) A violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law punishable by imprisonment for ten years or more.

            (iv) Any other offense punishable by imprisonment for twelve years or more.

            (v) Any combination of the offenses listed in Items (i) through (iv) of this Subparagraph.

            B.(1) No person shall be eligible for parole consideration who has been convicted of armed robbery and denied parole eligibility under the provisions of R.S. 14:64. Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, and except as provided in Paragraph (A)(5) and Subsections D, E, and H of this Section, no prisoner serving a life sentence shall be eligible for parole consideration until his life sentence has been commuted to a fixed term of years. No prisoner sentenced as a serial sexual offender shall be eligible for parole. No prisoner may be paroled while there is pending against him any indictment or information for any crime suspected of having been committed by him while a prisoner. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, a person convicted of a crime of violence and not otherwise ineligible for parole shall serve at least sixty-five percent of the sentence imposed, before being eligible for parole. The victim or victim's family shall be notified whenever the offender is to be released provided that the victim or victim's family has completed a Louisiana victim notice and registration form as provided in R.S. 46:1841 et seq., or has otherwise provided contact information and has indicated to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Crime Victims Services Bureau, that they desire such notification.

            (2) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person serving a life sentence, with or without the benefit of parole, who has not been convicted of a crime of violence as defined by R.S. 14:2(B), a sex offense as defined by R.S. 15:541, or an offense, regardless of the date of conviction, which would constitute a crime of violence as defined by R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined by R.S. 15:541, shall be eligible for parole consideration as follows:

            (a) If the person was at least eighteen years of age and under the age of twenty-five years at the time he was sentenced to life imprisonment, he shall be eligible for parole consideration if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (i) The person has served at least twenty-five years of the sentence imposed.

            (ii) The person has obtained a low risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (iii) The person has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (iv) The person has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:827.1, if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (v) The person has completed substance abuse treatment, if applicable and such treatment is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (vi) The person has obtained a GED credential, unless the prisoner has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED credential due to a learning disability or because such programming is not available. If the prisoner is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED credential, the person shall complete at least one of the following: a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job skills training program.

            (b) If the person was at least twenty-five years of age and under the age of thirty-five years at the time he was sentenced to life imprisonment, he shall be eligible for parole consideration if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (i) The person has served at least twenty years of the sentence imposed.

            (ii) The person has obtained a low risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (iii) The person has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (iv) The person has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:827.1, if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (v) The person has completed substance abuse treatment, if applicable and such treatment is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (vi) The person has obtained a GED credential, unless the prisoner has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED credential due to a learning disability or because such programming is not available. If the prisoner is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED credential, the person shall complete at least one of the following: a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job skills training program.

            (c) If the person was at least thirty-five years of age and under the age of fifty years at the time he was sentenced to life imprisonment, he shall be eligible for parole consideration if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (i) The person has served at least fifteen years of the sentence imposed.

            (ii) The person has obtained a low risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (iii) The person has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (iv) The person has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:827.1, if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (v) The person has completed substance abuse treatment, if applicable and such treatment is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (vi) The person has obtained a GED credential, unless the prisoner has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED credential due to a learning disability or because such programming is not available. If the prisoner is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED credential, the person shall complete at least one of the following: a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job skills training program.

            (d) If the person was at least fifty years of age at the time he was sentenced to life imprisonment, he shall be eligible for parole consideration if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (i) The person has served at least ten years of the sentence imposed.

            (ii) The person has obtained a low risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (iii) The person has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (iv) The person has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:827.1, if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (v) The person has completed substance abuse treatment if applicable and such treatment is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.

            (vi) The person has obtained a GED credential, unless the prisoner has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED credential due to a learning disability or because such programming is not available. If the prisoner is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED credential, the person shall complete at least one of the following: a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job skills training program.

            C.(1) At such intervals as it determines, the committee or a member thereof shall consider all pertinent information with respect to each prisoner eligible for parole, including the nature and circumstances of the prisoner's offense, his prison records, the presentence investigation report, any recommendations of the chief probation and parole officer, and any information and reports of data supplied by the staff. A parole hearing shall be held if, after such consideration, the committee determines that a parole hearing is appropriate or if such hearing is requested in writing by its staff.

            (2)(a) Except as provided in R.S. 15:574.2(C)(4), in cases where the offender has been convicted of, or where adjudication has been deferred or withheld for the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a violation of a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 and parole is permitted by law and the offender is otherwise eligible, the committee shall consider reports, assessments, and clinical information, as available, including any testing and recommendations by mental health professionals, as to all of the following:

            (i) Whether the offender has successfully completed the sex offender program.

            (ii) Whether, in the expert's opinion, there is a likelihood that the offender will or will not repeat the criminal conduct and that the offender will or will not be a danger to society.

            (b) Except as provided in R.S. 15:574.2(C)(4), the committee shall render its decision ordering or denying the release of the prisoner on parole only after considering this clinical evidence where such clinical evidence is available.

            D.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person serving a sentence of life imprisonment who was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of the offense, except for a person serving a life sentence for a conviction of first degree murder (R.S. 14:30) or second degree murder (R.S. 14:30.1), shall be eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (a) The offender has served twenty-five years of the sentence imposed.

            (b) The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (c) The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of prerelease programming in accordance with R.S. 15:827.1.

            (d) The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.

            (e) The offender has obtained a GED certification, unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED certification due to a learning disability. If the offender is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED certification, the offender shall complete at least one of the following:

            (i) A literacy program.

            (ii) An adult basic education program.

            (iii) A job skills training program.

            (f) The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (g) The offender has completed a reentry program to be determined by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (h) If the offender was convicted of aggravated or first degree rape, he shall be designated a sex offender and upon release shall comply with all sex offender registration and notification provisions as required by law.

            (2) For each offender eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection, the committee on parole shall meet in a three-member panel, and each member of the panel shall be provided with and shall consider a written evaluation of the offender by a person who has expertise in adolescent brain development and behavior and any other relevant evidence pertaining to the offender.

            (3) The panel shall render specific findings of fact in support of its decision.

            E.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and except as provided in Subsection G of this Section, any person serving a sentence of life imprisonment for a conviction of first degree murder (R.S. 14:30) who was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of the offense and whose indictment for the offense is on or after August 1, 2017, shall be eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection if a judicial determination has been made that the person is entitled to parole eligibility pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Article 878.1(A) and all of the following conditions have been met:

            (a) The offender has served twenty-five years of the sentence imposed.

            (b) The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (c) The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of prerelease programming in accordance with R.S. 15:827.1.

            (d) The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.

            (e) The offender has obtained a GED certification, unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED certification due to a learning disability. If the offender is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED certification, the offender shall complete at least one of the following:

            (i) A literacy program.

            (ii) An adult basic education program.

            (iii) A job skills training program.

            (f) The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (g) The offender has completed a reentry program to be determined by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (2) For each offender eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection, the board shall meet in a three-member panel, and each member of the panel shall be provided with and shall consider a written evaluation of the offender by a person who has expertise in adolescent brain development and behavior and any other relevant evidence pertaining to the offender.

            (3) The panel shall render specific findings of fact in support of its decision.

            F.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and except as provided in Subsection G of this Section, any person serving a sentence of life imprisonment for a conviction of second degree murder (R.S. 14:30.1) who was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of the offense and whose indictment for the offense is on or after August 1, 2017, shall be eligible for parole consideration if all of the following conditions have been met:

            (a) The offender has served twenty-five years of the sentence imposed.

            (b) The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (c) The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with R.S. 15:827.1.

            (d) The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.

            (e) The offender has obtained a GED certification, unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED certification due to a learning disability. If the offender is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED certification, the offender shall complete at least one of the following:

            (i) A literacy program.

            (ii) An adult basic education program.

            (iii) A job skills training program.

            (f) The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (g) The offender has completed a reentry program to be determined by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (2) For each offender eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection, the board shall meet in a three-member panel, and each member of the panel shall be provided with and shall consider a written evaluation of the offender by a person who has expertise in adolescent brain development and behavior and any other relevant evidence pertaining to the offender.

            (3) The panel shall render specific findings of fact in support of its decision.

            G.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person serving a sentence of life imprisonment for a conviction of first degree murder (R.S. 14:30) or second degree murder (R.S. 14:30.1) who was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of the offense and whose indictment for the offense was prior to August 1, 2017, shall be eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection if a judicial determination has been made that the person is entitled to parole eligibility pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Article 878.1(B) and all of the following conditions have been met:

            (a) The offender has served twenty-five years of the sentence imposed.

            (b) The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the twelve consecutive months prior to the parole hearing date. A major disciplinary offense is an offense identified as a Schedule B offense by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders.

            (c) The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of one hundred hours of pre-release programming in accordance with R.S. 15:827.1.

            (d) The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.

            (e) The offender has obtained a GED certification, unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED certification due to a learning disability. If the offender is deemed incapable of obtaining a GED certification, the offender shall complete at least one of the following:

            (i) A literacy program.

            (ii) An adult basic education program.

            (iii) A job skills training program.

            (f) The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (g) The offender has completed a reentry program to be determined by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

            (2) For each offender eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection, the board shall meet in a three-member panel, and each member of the panel shall be provided with and shall consider a written evaluation of the offender by a person who has expertise in adolescent brain development and behavior and any other relevant evidence pertaining to the offender.

            (3) The panel shall render specific findings of fact in support of its decision.

            H.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an offender serving a life sentence for second degree murder (R.S. 14:30.1), shall be eligible for parole consideration pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection if all of the following conditions are met:

            (a) The offender committed the offense after July 2, 1973, and prior to June 29, 1979.

            (b) The offender has served at least forty years of the sentence imposed.

            (2) An offender who has met the requirements of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection and is granted a hearing before the committee on parole shall be released on parole if a five member panel of the committee vote unanimously to grant parole.

            I. On or before August 1, 2018, and no later than August first of each year following, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall submit an annual report to the legislature relative to offenders released from custody during the preceding year pursuant to the provisions of this Section. This report shall include the following information:

            (1) The name and offender number of the paroled offender.

            (2) The date on which the offender was released on parole.

            (3) The offense for which the offender was incarcerated at the time of his release, including whether the offense was a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541.

            (4) A grid which shows the earliest release date that offenders would have been eligible for release notwithstanding the provisions of Section 3 of Act No. 280 of the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature.

            (5) Whether the offender obtained a GED certification or completed a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job skills training program before being paroled.

            (6) Any information relative to juvenile offenders that is exempt from release pursuant to a public records request or otherwise considered confidential by law shall be redacted from the report provided for by this Subsection.

            Amended by Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 58, §1, eff. July 7, 1994; Acts 1995, No. 605, §2, eff. June 18, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 1099, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997; Acts 1995, No. 1290, §2; Acts 1995, No. 1303, §1; Acts 1997, No. 134, §2; Acts 1997, No. 137, §2; Acts 1997, No. 820, §1; Acts 1997, No. 870, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1148, §2, eff. July 14, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1396, §1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 119, §1; Acts 1999, No. 359, §1; Acts 1999, No. 923, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1150, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1209, §1; Acts 2001, No. 253, §1; Acts 2001, No. 611, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1206, §1; Acts 2003, No. 587, §1; Acts 2003, No. 868, §1; Acts 2005, No. 337, §1; Acts 2006, No. 26, §1; Acts 2006, No. 59, §1; Acts 2006, No. 68, §1; Acts 2008, No. 266, §2; Acts 2008, No. 624, §1; Acts 2009, No. 362, §1; Acts 2009, No. 533, §2; Acts 2010, No. 241, §1; Acts 2011, No. 253, §1; Acts 2011, No. 285, §1; Acts 2012, No. 159, §1; Acts 2012, No. 401, §1; Acts 2012, No. 466, §1; Acts 2012, No. 714, §8; Acts 2013, No. 239, §1; Acts 2014, No. 126, §1; Acts 2014, No. 127, §1; Acts 2014, No. 332, §1; Acts 2015, No. 184, §2; Acts 2016, No. 469, §1; Acts 2016, No. 509, §3; Acts 2017, No. 277; §1 Acts 2017, No. 280, §3, eff. Nov. 1, 2017; Acts 2018, No. 604, §1, eff. November 1, 2018; Acts 2018, No. 670, §1, eff. June 1, 2018.


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