Board of Pardons and Parole
Act 714 of the 2012 Legislative Session, which became effective August 1, 2012, merged the duties, functions, and powers of the Board of Pardons with that of the Board of Parole, creating a Committee on Parole. Act 714 also expanded the membership of the Board of Pardons from five members to seven, with the additional 2 members serving at-large only on the Committee on Parole and who do not serve as a member of the Board of Pardons.
All members of the Board are appointed by the Governor and are subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate. There are five members of the Board of Pardons. The Committee on Parole, a committee within the Board of Pardons, is composed of the five members of the Board of Pardons, and two at-large members appointed by the Governor. The at-large members serve only as members of the Committee on Parole and do not serve as members of the Board of Pardons.
In addition to the appointed members, there is an ex-officio member of the Board. The warden, or in his absence the deputy warden, of the correctional facility in which the offender is incarcerated serves as the ex-officio member. The ex-officio member is not a voting member nor is he counted for the purposes of the members necessary to take Board action.
Members appointed by the Governor August 1, 2012 must have at least five years of experience in the field of penology, corrections, law enforcement, sociology, law, education, social work, medicine, or a combination thereof. Appointed members are also required to complete a comprehensive orientation training program within 90 days of their appointment and 8 hours of in-service training annually. Training components include, but are not limited to, the elements of the decision making process through the use of evidence-based practices for determining offender risk, needs, and motivation to change; dynamics of criminal victimization; security classifications.
All of the Board’s recommendations for clemency are forwarded to the Governor for final action. There is no time limits within which the Governor must take action on any recommendation for favorable consideration by the Board of Pardons. However, the Committee on Parole is the sole authority for granting parole in Louisiana.