This bill, labeled sHB6738 File No. 831, makes changes to current law regarding parole and compassionate release for inmates. It allows the appropriate panel of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to declare a person on parole, medical parole, or compassionate parole discharged from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction if they believe the person will lead an orderly life. The panel can also terminate a person's period of special parole before completion. The bill also repeals and replaces sections of the general statutes related to medical parole and compassionate parole. It allows the Board of Pardons and Paroles to release an inmate on medical parole if they have been diagnosed with a terminal condition, disease, or syndrome and are physically incapable of presenting a danger to society. It also allows the board to grant compassionate parole release to inmates who are physically or mentally debilitated, incapacitated, or infirm as a result of advanced age or a non-terminal condition, disease, or syndrome and who have served at least half of their sentence. The bill also establishes procedures for granting compassionate parole during a major disaster or emergency declaration and requires the board to report on compassionate parole releases annually. Additionally, the bill allows the Commissioner of Correction to grant public health emergency release credits to inmates during a public health emergency.

This bill, sHB6738, expands the circumstances under which compassionate parole can be granted and creates a public health release credit. It allows the Board of Pardons and Parole to grant compassionate parole to inmates who present a significantly reduced risk of danger to society, rather than being physically incapable of presenting a danger. The bill also allows for compassionate parole to be granted during major disaster or emergency declarations, such as disease epidemics or natural disasters. Inmates granted compassionate parole must appear before the board or a special panel after the emergency ends for a hearing on whether the parole should be revoked, continued, or modified. Additionally, the bill establishes a public health release credit that can be awarded to inmates toward release from imprisonment during a declared major disaster or emergency. The Department of Correction commissioner can grant credits to inmates whose scheduled release date is within one year after the declaration. The commissioner can reduce an eligible inmate's prison term by 122 days for each month they are imprisoned during the declaration period, for up to 244 days' worth of credit. The bill also codifies the Board of Pardons and Paroles' current commutation policy and makes minor technical and conforming changes.

Statutes affected:
Raised Bill: 54-127, 54-127a, 54-131a, 54-131b, 54-131k
JUD Joint Favorable: 54-127, 54-127a, 54-131a, 54-131b, 54-131k
File No. 534: 54-127, 54-127a, 54-131a, 54-131b, 54-131k
File No. 831: 54-127, 54-127a, 54-131a, 54-131b, 54-131k, 51-281