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​Challenges to Parole Decisions

Under Pennsylvania law, parole is a privilege, not a right. Courts have consistently stated that a denial of parole is not able to be appealed through the court system.

If a problem happens or a question needs answered about the conditions of parole/reparole for a person on parole supervision in the community, he/she needs to talk with the parole supervision staff, starting with his/her assigned parole agent or other parole supervision staff. The parole agent will assist with any explanations of individual parole/reparole conditions.

Denial of Parole

If an incarcerated person receives a Board Action that denies him/her parole/reparole, text at the end of the Board Action will give two types of guidance for options the person has with the Parole Board.

TYPE 1: Board Action text states:

YOU MAY FILE AN APPLICATION FOR PAROLE/REPAROLE NO SOONER THAN 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE THE LAST DECISION DENYING PAROLE/REPAROLE WAS RECORDED.

Parole Application

A Parole Application is a written request seeking parole consideration from the Parole Board by an inmate/parolee. The inmate/parolee or his/her attorney should use the Parole Board’s official Parole Application Form for submission.

The Parole Application should be mailed to:  PA Parole Board, Office of Board Secretary, 1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300, Harrisburg, PA 17104. After the application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility.

Parole Violations

If a person is arrested on new criminal charges, the Parole Board has the authority to lodge a detainer against the parolee which will prevent his/her release from custody, pending disposition of those charges, even though the person may have posted bail or was released on his/her own recognizance from those charges.

If a person violates a condition of parole/reparole and, after the appropriate hearing(s), the Parole Board decides that he/she is in violation of a parole/reparole condition, the person may be recommitted to prison for a period of time specified by the Parole Board.

If a person is convicted of a crime committed while on parole/reparole, the Parole Board has the authority, after an appropriate hearing, to recommit the person to serve the balance of the sentence(s) which he/she was serving when paroled/reparoled, with no credit for time at liberty on parole.

If a person thinks any of his/her rights have been violated as a result of their parole supervision, the person needs to submit a timely complaint in writing, first to the district director of the district office where the person is under parole supervision. If the complaint is not resolved to a person’s satisfaction, a complaint may be submitted in writing to the Pennsylvania Parole Board, Office of Parole Field Services, 1101 South Front St. Suite 5400, Harrisburg, PA  17104-2520.

TYPE 2: Board Action text states:

THIS DECISION INVOLVES AN ISSUE THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE BOARD'S ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES PROCESS. SEE 37 PA. CODE SEC. 73. FAILURE TO ADMINISTRATIVELY APPEAL THE DECISION MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS. IF YOU WISH TO APPEAL THIS DECISION, YOU MUST FILE A REQUEST FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RELIEF WITH THE BOARD WITHIN THIRTY DAYS (30) OF THE RECEIPT OF THE BOARD DECISION BY THE INMATE. THIS REQUEST SHALL SET FORTH SPECIFICALLY THE FACTUAL AND LEGAL BASES FOR THE ALLEGATIONS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY IN THIS APPEAL AND IN ANY SUBSEQUENT APPEAL TO THE COMMONWEALTH COURT. YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COUNSEL FROM THE PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE AT NO COST.

Administrative Remedies Process

Administrative Appeal

An administrative appeal is an administrative remedy limited to challenges of a Parole Board Revocation Decision; evidentiary Decision on Confinement Credit (i.e. Cox decision), Evidentiary Decision on Bail Issues (i.e. Pierce decision); Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) decision; and Rescission Hearings (after the inmate has been released on parole).

The Administrative Appeal request must be received at the Parole Board’s Central Office within 30 days of the mailing date on the Board Action. The request must be mailed to:  PA Parole Board, Office of Board Secretary, 1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300, Harrisburg, PA 17104.

The request may be submitted on the Administrative Remedies Form (PB 40) or any legible paper source that contains the same information as Form PB 40 Form. The request may only be submitted by the inmate/parolee or the inmate/parolee’s attorney. The request must present factual and/or legal claims the inmate/parolee wants the Parole Board to consider with accuracy, brevity, clearness and specificity (including any supporting documentation).

When a timely appeal of a revocation decision has been filed, the revocation decision will not be final for an appeal to a court until the Parole Board has mailed its decision on the appeal.

The scope of review of an appeal is limited to whether the decision is supported by substantial evidence, an error of law has been committed or these has been a violation of constitutional law.

The failure to file an appeal with brevity, accuracy, and clarity of what is essential to an adequate understanding of the factual and legal points requiring consideration will be a sufficient reason for denying the appeal.

Subsequent or second appeals that are not filed in a timely manner will not be received.

Petition for Administrative Review

Petition for Administrative Review (PAR) is defined as challenges of sentence credit, order of sentences, and reparole eligibility dates, as well as authority/jurisdiction claims, requests for evidentiary hearings or challenges of credit for time in Community Correction Centers, and presumptive range challenges.

The PAR must be received at the Parole Board’s Central Office within 30 days of the mailing date on the Board Action. The request must be mailed to:  PA Parole Board, Office of Board Secretary, 1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300, Harrisburg, PA 17104.

The request may be submitted on the Administrative Remedies Form (PB 40) or any legible paper source that contains the same information as Form PB 40. The request may only be submitted by the inmate/parolee or the inmate/parolee’s attorney. The request must present factual and/or legal claims the inmate/parolee wants the Parole Board to consider with accuracy, brevity, clearness and specificity (including any supporting documentation).

When a timely appeal of a revocation decision has been filed, the revocation decision will not be final for an appeal to a court until the Parole Board has mailed its decision on the appeal.

The failure to file an appeal with brevity, accuracy, and clarity of what is essential to an adequate understanding of the factual and legal points requiring consideration will be a sufficient reason for denying the appeal.

Subsequent or second appeals that are not filed in a timely manner will not be received.