Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

Offenders sentenced under the indeterminate sentencing system (committed a crime prior to July 1st, 1984) were given a maximum sentence by the Court at the time of sentencing. However, indeterminate sentencing law specifies that after the offender has been sentenced by the Court to the maximum and sent to prison, the Parole Board (ISRB) would set a minimum sentence: the minimum amount of time an offender would serve before being considered for parole. Indeterminate law allowed all offenders, 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 offender "paroleable", e.g., "rehabilitated and a fit subject for release" (RCW 9.95.100) before parole can be authorized. Under this indeterminate system, offenders have a right to parole review, but they do not have a right to parole itself.

Offenders sentenced under the determinate plus sentencing system (committed certain sex offenses after September 1st, 2001). 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.

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How does the Board determine an offender is ready for release?

A great many factors enter into this decision. Please see: Factors Considered PRE for indeterminate offenders and Factors Considered CCB for determinate plus offenders.

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

The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) merged with the Department of Corrections (DOC) on July 1, 2011. Public disclosure requests must be submitted via USPS through the address below or by emailing the DOC Public Disclosure Unit.

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 41118, Mail Stop 41118
Olympia, WA  98504

Offender Requests

Offenders can request a copy of their hearing recording directly from the ISRB by mailing a request to:

P.O. Box 40907
Olympia, WA  98504

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How do defense attorneys submit invoices for violation hearing payment?

Payment can be submitted by completing the Defense Attorney invoice to the ISRB email box or sent to:
PO Box 40907
Olympia, WA 98504-0907

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Why is the Board even considering releasing this sex offender? Doesn't he have a life sentence?

The Board must see CCB (convicted sex) offenders prior to the expiration of the minimum term that the sentencing Judge determined in the original court proceedings. 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. 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.

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Does the offender have a right to be represented by an attorney during the release eligibility process? Are attorneys available to inmates at no cost?

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

Determinate plus offenders are not represented by an attorney during the release eligibility process.

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

If an offender who is being considered for release has a consecutive sentence to serve on another conviction, he/she will serve that conviction time prior to release.

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How long will an offender remain on release supervision?

Under indeterminate law, if an offender 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 offender will remain on release supervision until they reach the expiration of their maximum sentence.

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If an offender 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.

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Will an offender be automatically returned to prison if he or she violates a condition of release? 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 offender 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.

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What are the factors considered for PRE Release/Parole Decisions?

  • The original recommendation of the sentencing Judge and Prosecutor to the ISRB.
  • The length of time an offender has served so far.
  • Any aggravating or mitigating factors or circumstances relative to the crime of conviction.
  • The offender's entire criminal history.
  • All available information from the victim or the victim's family, including comments on the impact of the crime, concerns about the offender's potential release, and requests for conditions if the offender is released.
  • The offender's participation in or refusal to participate in available programs or resources designed to assist in reducing the risk of re-offense.
  • The risk to public safety.
  • Serious and repetitive disciplinary infractions during incarceration.
  • Evidence of the offender's continuing intent or propensity to engage in illegal activity (e.g., victim harassment, criminal conduct while incarcerated, use of illegal substances.)
  • Statements or declarations that the offender made about intending to re-offend or not intending to comply with conditions of supervision.
  • Evidence that the offender presents a substantial danger to the community if released.

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What are the factors considered for CCB Release/Transfer to Community Custody Decisions

  • The offender's entire criminal history.
  • Any aggravating or mitigating factors or circumstances relative to the crime of conviction.
  • The offender's participation in, or refusal to participate in, available programs or resources designed to assist in reducing the risk of sexual re-offense.
  • Serious disciplinary infractions committed during incarceration.
  • Reports provided by the End of Sentence Review Committee, which include sex offense-related actuarial risk assessment information.
  • Statements from the offender.
  • Information from the victim, the victim's family, or other concerned individuals.
  • The offender's risk to public safety.
  • Any other information that may have bearing on the offender's likelihood to re-offend sexually.

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What are the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board's Rules?

Rules are listed under Title 381 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

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I want to learn about PRE Cases.

PRE offenders committed their crimes prior to July 1, 1984. In addition, they were sentenced to prison. These offenders have indeterminate sentences (RCW 9.95.011(2)). This means the amount of time an offender 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 offender 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 offender 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 offender into the community (parole). That plan may call for the offender 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. Offenders 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 offender a discharge from supervision if the rules are followed for 36 months. Parolees who finish supervision may also earn the Restoration of Civil Rights

In its simplest terms, parole helps parolees to build a stake in the community. It helps them find a job, safe housing, and a break with criminal friends. Parole gives careful supervision and clear direction. These can lead to success.

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I want to learn about CCB Cases.

CCB offenders are certain sex offenders with crimes after August 31, 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 (RCW 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. More about CCB release hearings can be found in the Hearings part of this web site.

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. The Board will investigate any report of an offender breaking the rules. The Board sets a new minimum term if community custody is revoked.

In its simplest terms, supervision after prison helps offenders build a stake in the community. It helps them find a job, safe housing, and a break with criminal friends. Community custody and sentence conditions give careful supervision and clear direction. These can lead to success.

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I want to learn about CCB crimes

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

  • Being convicted of one of the listed crimes, without having previously been convicted of any crime in the list.
  • Being convicted of a sex crime not in the list, while having previously been convicted of any crime in the list.

Each crime is linked to the correlating RCW:

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