Georgia Parole Laws

You’ve done the crime in Georgia, now you are doing the time in county jail or state prison. But what about getting out early? You’ve heard about early release, but aren’t sure how it works. The good news is that you don’t have to submit a formal application for parole, yet it is important to understand how Georgia parole laws work, whether you’re eligible, and what to do if you are initially denied early release. Keep in mind, if you are granted parole and you violate the terms of your release, you are likely headed back into confinement for a period of time.

What Does “Parole” Mean?

To break it down, parole is the discretionary release of an offender after they have served part of their sentence. In Georgia, inmates may only be granted parole by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

How Do I Request Parole Consideration?

You don’t have to do much. The Parole Board will automatically consider you for release. The Board doesn’t hold formal hearings before making decisions, so you won’t go before the Board to argue your case. The Board will review each parole filing individually and then cast a vote to grant or deny parole.

Georgia Parole Laws Overview

The following table provides a basic overview of Georgia’s parole laws. Keep in mind, the Board is required by law to make parole decisions based on the risk a person may pose to public safety if he or she were released on parole. Speak to an attorney to learn more.

Statutes

Persons Not Eligible for Parole

  • Serious violent felony: People sentenced to a term of years for a serious violent felony are not eligible for parole including murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17- 10-6.1(c)(3)
  • Fourth felony conviction: If this is your fourth felony conviction, you are not eligible for parole pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7(c)
  • Life without parole

What Governmental Body Considers Parole Release?

  • Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, a five-person panel appointed by the Governor for staggered, renewable seven-year terms subject to confirmation by the State Senate. To conduct a parolee search, click here.

Persons Eligible for Parole

  • Misdemeanor sentences: Eligible for parole consideration after the expiration of six months of her sentence, or one-third of the time of the sentence, whichever is greater.
  • Felony sentences: Eligible for parole consideration after the expiration of nine months of his/her sentence or 1/3 of the time of the sentence, whichever is greater with the exception of:

1.      Inmates serving sentence for “serious violent felony (see above) or inmates serving sentence for fourth felony (see above).

2.      Inmates serving sentences aggregating 21 years or more shall become eligible for parole consideration upon completion of seven years of the sentence.

3.      Inmates serving a sentence for one of the following crimes will not be released on parole until the person has served “on good behavior” seven years in prison or one-third of the prison term imposed by the court, whichever occurs first : voluntary manslaughter, statutory rape, incest, cruelty to children, arson in the first degree, homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or as a habitual traffic violator, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, trafficking in drugs, and violations of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). 

4.      Inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

What if I am Eligible for Parole, but Denied?

Inmates serving non-life sentences who are denied parole will be automatically reconsidered by the Board at least every five years after becoming eligible for parole. Inmates who are serving life sentences who are denied parole, will, by policy, be reconsidered for parole at regular intervals not to exceed eight years.

Additional Resources

If you have additional questions about Georgia parole laws including eligibility and want to do your own research, click on the links below:

Eligible for Parole? Get a Free Case Review

If you have served your time and are coming up for parole, why not have a legal expert on your side? A skilled Georgia criminal defense attorney can assist you in understanding the laws, whether or not you are eligible for release, and more. Find out more with a free case evaluation at no obligation.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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