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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the three types of inmates that the ISRB has jurisdiction over at the Department of Corrections (DOC)?

The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB or Board) has jurisdiction over three types of inmates at the Department of Corrections (DOC): Parole (PRE), Community Custody Board (CCB) and Juvenile Board Cases (JUVBRD).

Inmates who committed their crime(s) prior to July 1, 1984 and were sentenced to prison.

The ISRB must determine if the inmate's rehabilitation is complete and whether he or she is a fit subject for release. If the ISRB makes a decision to release the inmate, the Department of Corrections (DOC) will then propose a release plan. The ISRB will review and either approve or reject the release plan. If a parolee fails to follow the conditions of parole, the ISRB can revoke parole or impose new parole conditions on the parolee.

Click here to learn more about Parole (PRE) cases.

Offenders who committed certain sex offenses on or after September 1, 2001.

The ISRB must determine if a preponderance of evidence suggests the offender is more likely than not to commit a sex offense if released with conditions. If the ISRB decides to release the offender to community custody, the offender must comply with all release conditions that were imposed by the court when he/she was sentenced, as well as any conditions imposed by the ISRB. If an offender fails to follow those conditions, the ISRB can revoke the release or impose new release conditions on the offender.

Click here to learn more about Community Custody Board (CCB) cases.

Inmates who committed crimes prior to their 18th birthday and are sentenced as adults.

The ISRB must determine if a preponderance of evidence suggests the inmate is more likely than not to commit a new crime. If the ISRB decides to release the inmate on supervision, the inmate must comply with all release conditions that were imposed by the court when he/she was sentenced, as well as any conditions imposed by the ISRB. If an inmate fails to follow those conditions, the ISRB can revoke the release or impose new release conditions on the inmate.

What are Parole (PRE) cases?

PRE inmates committed their crimes prior to July 1, 1984. In addition, they were sentenced to prison. These inmates have indeterminate sentences (RCW 9.95.011(2) ). This means the amount of time an inmate will spend in prison is not known when they are sentenced. The sentencing judge sets a maximum prison term. The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB of Board) sets a minimum term.

The Board decides if a PRE inmate can leave prison before the maximum term is up. The Board holds a hearing several months before the parole eligibility date (PERD). This date is figured based on the minimum term and inmate earned time. A number of factors are considered before the Board makes a decision. If the decision is for parole, a plan is made to move the inmate into the community (parole). That plan may call for the inmate spending time in a prison program or work-release before release. If the decision is against parole, time is added, and a new minimum term is set.

The Board also sets a new minimum term for a revoked parole. Inmates returning from escape and "new" cases also get new minimum terms. The Board is seeing a number of "new" PRE cases coming into prison. This is due to cold cases being solved by DNA match.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises parolees. Parolees must follow the terms of supervision set by the court, DOC, and the Board. The Board gives the inmate a discharge from supervision if the rules are followed for 36 months. Parolees who finish supervision may also earn the Restoration of Civil Rights.

What are Community Custody Board (CCB) cases?

CCB offenders are certain sex offenders with crimes on or after September 1, 2001. These offenders have determinate-plus sentences (RCW 9.94A.507 ). This means the sentencing judge sets a minimum prison term, in line with the Sentencing Reform Act sentencing guidelines (9.94A ). The maximum term is the statutory maximum term for the specific crime. The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB or Board) has a say in when CCB offenders actually leave prison.

The Board decides if a CCB offender can leave prison when the minimum term is served. The Board holds a hearing several months before the earliest possible release date (ERD) (RCW 9.95.420 ). This date is figured based on the minimum term and offender earned time. A number of factors are considered before the Board makes a decision. If the decision is for release, a plan is made to transfer the offender to community custody (field supervision). If the decision is against release, time is added, and a new minimum term is set. No more than 60 months can be added at one time (RCW 9.95.011 ).

The Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises CCB offenders while they are on community custody. The offender must follow the terms of supervision, set by the court, DOC, and the Board. DOC will report any violations to the Board and appropriate action will be taken, which may include an in-custody hearing. The Board sets a new minimum term if community custody is revoked. The length of supervision is determined by the felony level of the crime. If convicted of a Class A felony it is life, for Class B it is 10 years, minus time served in prison, and Class C is 5 years minus the time served in prison.

What are Community Custody Board (CCB) crimes?

There are two ways offenders may be given Determinate Plus/CCB sentences:

  • Being convicted of one of the below listed crimes, without having previously been convicted of any crime on the list.
  • Being convicted of a sex crime not on the below list, while having previously been convicted of any crime on the list.
Crimes with correlating RCW:

What are Juvenile Board (JUVBRD) cases?

These cases involve certain juveniles who committed crimes prior to their 18th birthday and were convicted as adults. This law is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court Miller vs. AlabamaAdobe PDF document file that recognized that juveniles should not be sentenced to life without parole prior to considering certain mitigating factors. There are two types of Juvenile Board Cases:

  • Aggravated First Degree Murder (AGMURDER) – These are juveniles convicted of Aggravated First Degree Murder. They must be re-sentenced by the sentencing court and may fall under the Board if sentenced to a term of less than Life-Without-Parole. If the Board decides not to release them at their hearing, the Board can add up to five years on their minimum term.
  • Long Term Juvenile Board (LTJUVBRD) – These are juveniles sentenced to 20 or more years. They may petition the Board after serving 20 years flat time, have not been convicted of a new crime after the age of 18 and have not had a serious infraction in the last 12 months. If the Board decides to not release them at their hearing, the Board indicates when the inmate can petition again, up to 60 months.

Releasability: Juvenile Board inmates have a presumption of release unless the Board determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the inmate is more likely than not to commit new criminal law violations (RCW 10.95.030 & 9.94A.730 ).

The Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises Juvenile Board inmates while they are on supervision. The inmate must follow the terms of supervision, set by the court and the Board. The DOC will report any violations to the Board and appropriate action will be taken by the Board, which may include an in-custody hearing. They will be supervised for three years.

Why does the ISRB consider releasing inmates from prison before they have served the maximum sentence imposed by the court?

The legislature has given authority to the Board to release inmates if the statutory criteria is met in the three different populations under the Board’s jurisdiction:

  • Indeterminate law which is applicable to Pre's allowed all inmates, except those sentenced to Life Without Parole, to be considered for parole before their maximum sentence was over. However, the Board has to find the inmate "paroleable", e.g., "rehabilitated and a fit subject for release" (RCW 9.95.100 ) before parole can be authorized. Under this indeterminate system, inmates have a right to parole review, but they do not have a right to parole itself.
  • Inmates sentenced under the determinate plus sentencing system or CCB's are given a minimum and maximum sentence by the court. The Board holds a hearing several months before the earliest possible release date (ERD) (RCW 9.95.420 ). This date is figured based on the minimum term and inmate earned time. A number of factors are considered before the Board makes a decision. If the decision is for release, a plan is made to transfer the inmate to community custody (field supervision). If the decision is against release, time is added, and a new minimum term is set. No more than 60 months can be added at one time (RCW 9.95.011 ).
  • As of 2014 inmates who committed their crimes as juveniles but were convicted as adults will be re-sentenced by the court (RCW 10.95.030) or can petition the Board (RCW 9.94A.730) after serving 20 or more years for possible release.

What are the factors considered by the Board for release decisions?

The Board considers many factors before determining if an inmate is fit for release:

  • The original recommendation of the sentencing Judge and Prosecutor to the ISRB (if available).
  • The length of time an inmate has served so far.
  • Actuarial Risk Assessment Scores (static, dynamic and protective)
  • Responsivity to Programming (level and dosage of program)
  • Institutional and Previous Supervision Behavior
  • Inmate Change (participation, refusal, progress)
  • Release Plan
  • Case Specific Information
  • Discordant Information
  • Victim Input
  • Public Safety
  • Statutory Direction

How do I submit a public records request to the ISRB?

Please submit an ISRB public records request to the Department of Corrections.

Why is the Board considering releasing this sex offender when he/she has a life sentence?

The Board must see CCB (convicted sex) offenders prior to the expiration of the minimum term that the sentencing court determined appropriate. In-prison release hearings are used to meet with the offender to gather information. After the hearing, the Board makes a release decision. Specifically, they must determine whether or not the offender is "more likely than not to commit future sex offenses if released with conditions".

The Board must set a new minimum term if the preponderance of evidence leads them to find that the offender is more likely than not to commit another sex offense. Up to 60 months may be added to the minimum term (RCW 9.95.011 ). The Board must then hold another hearing for the offender before the end of the new minimum term. Each time the Board finds an offender not releasable, this process is repeated, until the offender's maximum term is reached.

Does an inmate have a right to be represented by an attorney during the release eligibility process and is there a cost?

Indeterminate inmates may be represented by an attorney at their own cost. Or, they may seek to be represented by prison services attorneys at no cost.

CCB offenders and JUVBRD inmates are not represented by an attorney during the release eligibility process, unless the Board determines that a cognitive or mental health issue prohibits them from fully participating in the hearing.

What happens if an inmate is released, but still has time to serve on sentences for other crimes?

If an inmate who is being considered for release has a consecutive sentence to serve on another conviction that the Board does not have authority over, he/she will serve that conviction time prior to release.

How long will an inmate remain on release supervision?

Under indeterminate law, if an inmate completes three years on parole in the community, without being sent back to prison, he/she will receive a Final Discharge on his/her parole.

Under determinate plus law, an inmate will remain on release supervision until they reach the expiration of their maximum sentence.

For Juvenile Board cases they will complete three years of supervision in the community without being sent back to prison.

If an inmate is not released as a result of this review, how long will it be before the next review is conducted?

The time until the next release review will vary from case to case.

Will an inmate be automatically returned to prison if he/she violates a condition of release and/or commits another crime?

A return to prison is not automatic. The law requires that a violation hearing be conducted by the Board to determine if release conditions were violated, and if so, if those violations warrant a return to prison, or if other, lesser alternative sanctions would be more effective. If the inmate is convicted of a new crime, the law requires that the Board conduct a hearing to allow the parolee to present any argument against a revocation of release.

Can CCB offenders be released from lifetime supervision?

No, not at this time, there is no mechanism for those CCB offenders under lifetime supervision to be released from that obligation.