A defendant in Georgia who is sentenced to prison time for a felony offense falls under the authority of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole. Parole is the discretionary decision of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to release a certain offender from confinement after he has served an appropriate portion of a prison sentence.
When considering for parole those offenders who will become statutorily eligible for parole consideration and who are serving less than a life sentence, the Board receives a recommendation of months, or a percentage of the sentence, to serve. This recommendation is obtained from the Parole Decision Guidelines system, which accounts for the severity of the crime and the offender's likelihood of success on parole. The offender's likelihood of success on parole is determined by weighted factors concerning the offender's criminal and social history that the Board has found to have value predicting the probability of further criminal behavior and successful adjustment under parole supervision.
The Hearing Examiner cross-references the offender's Crime Severity Level and Risk to Re-Offend Score on the Guidelines Grid component of the Parole Decision Guidelines System. The Guidelines Grid provides a months-to-serve or a percentage of the prison sentence recommendation for the Board's consideration.
The Board may accept or reject the recommendation from the Guidelines. The Board specifically reserves the right to exercise its discretion under Georgia Law to disagree with the recommendation resulting from application of the Parole Decision Guidelines and to make an independent decision to deny parole or to establish a Tentative Parole Month at any time prior to sentence expiration.
The Board then sends the inmate a notice advising of its decision and emphasizing that any Tentative Parole Month (TPM) is conditioned on good conduct in prison and sometimes successful completion of a drug, alcohol, sex-offender counseling program, or other pre-condition(s). Reports from the Department of Corrections of misconduct by the offender usually result in parole postponement or cancellation. Reports of outstanding conduct and rehabilitative efforts on the part of the inmate can result in the Board advancing a TPM a few months.
I have copies of the Crime Severity Levels, Risk to Re-Offend Worksheet, and the Time to Serve Grid, and will be happy to email them to you for your review. Also, you can call me on my cell phone to discuss the matter.