FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Board Functions

Grants of parole releasing inmates to community supervision with conditions to protect public safety and promote rehabilitation or to consecutive sentences or sentences in other states. Revocations of parole based on violations of the conditions of parole.

Recommendations to the Governor for grants of commutations (time cuts) of sentences.

Removal and withholding of good time credits from inmates as a sanction for misbehavior or refusal to participate in rehabilitative programs.

Restoration of voting rights to qualifying felons.*

* See Restoration of Voting Rights for qualifications

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Parole Eligibility

Inmates cannot be paroled by the Board until they become eligible under state law and Board rules.
Most Wyoming inmates receive indeterminate sentences; that is, the sentence contains a minimum and a maximum. Both the minimum and the maximum sentences may be reduced by the earning of good time, which may be awarded by the Warden for good behavior while in the prison. Good time credits may reduce the minimum sentence by 1/3 and the maximum sentence by 1/4. Thus, the typical inmate becomes eligible for parole after serving 2/3’s of the full minimum sentence.

The Board has authority to remove or withhold good time credits off the maximum sentence for inmates who violate institutional rules or refuse to participate in rehabilitative programs recommended by the Court, Department of Corrections, or the Board.

Inmates with life sentences are not eligible for parole and can only become eligible if the Governor commutes their sentences to a term of years with a minimum and a maximum term, and they have served their minimum.

Inmates who are sentenced to life without parole under W.S. 6-10-301 can not be paroled nor commuted.

Inmates who commit an escape, attempted escape, or assist in an escape, or who commit an assault with a deadly weapon on an inmate, officer, or staff, are ineligible for parole on the sentence being served when that offense was committed. This includes inmates who committed escapes as probationers at Adult Community Corrections facilities.



Parole Hearings

Most inmates do not appear before the Board until they are within six months of their eligibility dates.

If an inmate enters the WDOC custody and is immediately parole eligible, he/she will be scheduled within 90 days of arrival.

Inmates with minimum sentences of 15 years or longer will not have a hearing until 3 years prior to their parole eligibility date. This enables the Board to start familiarizing themselves with these cases. Offenders with Life sentences will not see the Board unless they request a commutation. Offenders may submit a commutation petition once every five years for the Board’s review.

The new policy regarding the frequency of review hearings became effective as of July 1, 2014. Offenders facing revocation will be heard by the Board for final determination, which takes place each month.



Attendance at Hearings

The Board’s hearings are Executive Hearings and are not open to the general public, unless otherwise directed by the Board.

Inmates may request the presence of family, friends, or an attorney to provide pertinent information.

Certified victims are provided the opportunity to meet with the Board separately from the inmate hearing.



Factors Considered for Parole grants and Commutation recommendations

The primary considerations of the Board are public safety, victim concerns, and treatment and control of the offender. The ultimate goal is successful reentry of appropriate offenders into society while minimizing the risk of re-offending through appropriate treatment and supervision.

Parole is granted only with the best interests of society being considered and not as an award of clemency.

The Board considers whether there is a reasonable probability that the inmate is able and willing to fulfill obligations as a law abiding citizen.

The Board takes into account that sentences are usually imposed for the purposes of punishment, rehabilitation, general deterrence and removal from society.

Factors reviewed to make these determinations include social background and history, criminal record, facts of the current offense and its continuing impact on victims, institutional behavior and rehabilitative efforts, medical and mental health issues and treatment needs, and suitability of proposed parole plans to assure successful reentry.

Input from certified victims is always sought and considered prior to parole hearings.

Input from certified victims, prosecutors and judges is always sought and considered before making commutation recommendations.



Parole Supervision

Parolees are released subject to several parole conditions which govern their behavior and which, if violated, may constitute grounds for revocation of the parole. Typical conditions include compliance with all laws, regular reporting to an Agent, abstinence from alcohol and drugs, urinalysis and breath testing, engagement in treatment programs, payment of restitution and other costs imposed by the Board, special conditions for sex offenders, and other specific conditions in particular cases.

Parolees are supervised by Agents of the Wyoming Department of Corrections. The Agents provide guidance and assistance to parolees for successful reentry, including employment, housing and required treatment or other programs, and monitor compliance with parole conditions through community contacts and office and home visits. Agents may structure additional conditions or, in appropriate cases, refer the case to the Board for revocation proceedings. Agents can have parolees immediately arrested when behaviors threaten the public's or the parolee's safety. Agents provide regular reports to the Board of all significant violations.

Parolees who are revoked do not receive credit off their sentences for time spent on parole, unless it is granted by the Board. They may spend the rest of their maximum sentences in prison or may be re-paroled by the Board.

Successful parolees are discharged from parole when they complete their maximum sentences as reduced by good time credits while incarcerated.



The Wyoming Criminal History Records Act 

Confidentiality law (The Wyoming Criminal History Act) prohibits the Board from disclosing information about offenders to persons who have not been certified as victims under the Victim Notification Program. However, the Department of Corrections, a separate agency, is statutorily authorized to provide the following information about offenders to the public: name and other identifying information; photograph and physical description; conviction for which committed; sentencing information; projected parole eligibility and discharge dates; current location of supervision or custody and date of release from custody. That information may be obtained by contacting: Department of Corrections (307) 777-7405.



What is ACC?

Adult Community Corrections

The Wyoming Department of Corrections contracts with community corrections boards and the private housing provider for the housing of probationers, parolees and inmates. The facilities are located in Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette. The facilities provide the Courts and the Parole Board an alternative to incarceration or traditional probation/parole supervision and provide a transition option for offenders preparing to leave correctional facilities. The Board may parole inmates into these programs or grant parole to be effective upon successful program completion. Offenders in ACC programs reside in the facility, but are required to maintain outside employment and pay room and board. 



What is ISP?

Intensive Supervision Program

This program provides intensive supervision in the community for offenders considered a high risk and promotes public safety by increased surveillance and risk control strategies, including use of electronic monitoring devices and strict movement restrictions. The Board may parole inmates into ISP, or Agents may "enhance" parolees on regular parole into the program based on parole violations.



What is ITU?

Intensive Treatment Unit

The ITU is a separate, modified therapeutic community within WSP and WWC that offers inmates an opportunity to learn responsibility for themselves and others through their involvement in treatment activities twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. There are 28 beds at WSP and 31 beds at WWC.

The ITU utilizes therapy groups, group meetings, Twelve Step sessions, and daily interactions to address:
  • Substance abuse
  • Irresponsible/Criminal thinking errors
  • Appropriate expressions of emotion
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Parenting, a variety of education/vocation and other life skills that focus on successful community reintegration
Participants of the ITU program are required to establish an approved aftercare plan. The ITU staff assists the inmate in assessing living arrangements, employment, treatment providers and other social support agencies. The ITU program lasts 33 to 55 weeks. The Board may grant inmates parole to become effective upon successful program completion.



What is the CRC Therapeutic Community ("TC") Program? 

The TC program consists of 100 beds for medium security inmates, operated by the Casper Reentry Center in Casper, Wyoming. This includes helping residents develop basic values, behaviors and work skills that are consistent with the behavior of responsible members of society. Staff members function as role-models by demonstrating appropriate attitudes, behavior, and the shared values of the TC community.

The TC programs use a hierarchical model with treatment stages that reflect increased levels of individual and social responsibility. Peer influence is an important component of TC programs. Residents learn and assimilate social norms and develop more effective social skills through daily community meetings, work assignments and the peer group process. Daily interactions are used to cultivate a sense of community mission and mutual self-help. Under the mutual self-help concept, individuals assume responsibility for the recovery, personal growth and right living of their peers in order to maintain their own recovery.

CRC’s TC programs operate according to standards set by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and Therapeutic Communities of America (TCA); and professional literature by experts in the field.



What is a Commutation?

A commutation is a reduction in the length of a sentence which may only be granted by the Governor, but may be recommended by the Board.

The Board will consider commutation of sentence requests at regularly scheduled hearings. When a majority vote of the panel agrees a commutation may be in order, it will forward the case to the Governor for his consideration and decision.



What is a Revocation? 

The Board’s consideration to retaking or re-incarcerating a person who has violated a condition of parole.



What is a Pardon?

A release from the penalty of an offense; a remission of penalty, granted by the Governor. In Wyoming, a pardon has the effect of restoring civil rights lost as a result of the conviction. The Board plays no role in the pardon process. Interested parties must contact the Governor's Office to request an application. 



How is Parole Different from Probation? 

Parole is the release from prison of an inmate to community supervision prior to the expiration of a prison sentence while remaining under the authority of the Board until the expiration of the sentence. Probation is a judge’s order suspending all or part of a prison sentence to allow supervision in the community usually prior to any prison time. The Board has no authority over probation or probationers.



How long does it take for an inmate to be released on parole once granted?

If an offender is eligible for parole typically release is at least thirty days after the grant is issued. It can take up to 90 days if the offender is being released to another state. Inmates can not be released on parole until the minimum eligibility date is met and the parole plan has been approved by a parole agent. Release may also be conditioned upon completion of various treatment programs, which may take as long as one year.



What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A felony is a crime that can be punished upon conviction by a sentence of one year or more of incarceration. A misdemeanor is a lesser crime that cannot be punished by more than eleven months and twenty-nine days of incarceration.



What is the Interstate Compact?

The Interstate Compact (Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision) is known by the acronym ICAOS. It’s an agency that coordinates the legal agreement between member states, as authorized by the respective state’s Legislature. The arrangement provides for the formal transfer of probation or parole supervision from one state to another. Transfers of the geographic location of the offender and of the responsibility to provide supervision must meet compact guidelines, such as family residency, employment, or education. Wyoming’s participation in the compact enhances public safety through supervision of offenders in locations that are best for their habilitation. It is administered by Department of Corrections.



If an inmate is granted parole who will be his or her parole officer?

The parolee will be assigned a Parole Officer shortly before release by the Parole Unit Supervisor. The assignment is based on the conditions of release imposed by the Board and location of the parole.



Does the parole panel consider support letters?

The Board considers all information received on behalf of the offender in reaching a decision. However, it must be received by the Board's office no later than thirty days prior to the hearing or it will not be considered.



Will the Board accept the certificates and course completion information?

Although the offender’s participation in programs while incarcerated are included in the parole summary, the Board will review all information received. However, it must be submitted by the Board's office no later than thirty days prior to the hearing or it will not be reviewed.