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Preparing for the Interview

Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (board) employees in state correctional institutions assist inmates in preparation for the parole interview and share information on how to be successful on parole. The board, in conjunction with the Department of Corrections (DOC), begins gathering documents for the parole interview approximately eight months prior to the minimum sentence date. The board is required by law to consider facts of the crime; criminal history; sentencing hearing notes; general character; physical, mental and medical health; history of family violence; adjustment to prison; victim, judge and prosecuting attorney input; recommendation of warden or superintendent.
The institutional parole agent works with the inmate on reentry planning. The inmate is required to propose a place to live and encouraged to apply for jobs or seek educational or vocational training. The agent conducts a pre-parole interview and assessment. The agent finalizes preparation of the file for the board decision maker.
The development of a suitable home plan is an essential part of the reentry process and it is the inmate’s responsibility to identify possible residences. The board expects inmates to contact all acceptable family members and friends to seek a place to live. While in prison, an inmate works with his or her institutional parole agent to develop a home plan - where the inmate proposes to live - and determine what documentation or resources offenders will need once they are released. This is important because during the interview for parole, the decision maker will want to know where the parolee proposes to live.
Judge and district attorney letters are mailed to request recommendation for either granting or denying parole.
The Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) notifies registered victims of parole eligibility and their right to provide a victim impact statement on the inmate's case.  The victim has many options of how to provide an impact statement from written testimony to in-person testimony.
After an inmate is granted parole, institutional parole staff will coordinate with field parole staff to conduct a home plan investigation to determine whether or not the proposed residence is acceptable:
• The residence where the inmate proposes to live should meet all of the parolee’s basic needs and only law abiding people who are committed to providing support to the parolee who must live there.
• Individuals with whom the parolee is not permitted to have contact may not live at the proposed residence, and the residence should be in a location that does not present transportation problems for the parolee to attend treatment sessions or to work.
• A proposed residence will not be approved if it is not conducive to the parolee’s successful transition to the community.

For all individuals who have completed either the Statement of Residence form (pdf)  (PBPP 1 aka home plan form) or the Statement of Employment form (pdf)(PBPP 2 aka employer form), you are to mail the completed forms back to the inmate at his/her state correctional facility. The forms must include both the first and last name of the inmate and the institution number. The inmate will then send the completed forms to the institutional parole office located at each of the correctional facilities.

The Department of Corrections website INMATE LOCATOR provides both the inmate/institution number and the state correctional facility where they are housed and address list have been provided to assist you with contact information.

Department of Corrections web page for STATE prison addresses

Parole to a Community Corrections Centers

Some inmates are paroled directly to community corrections centers (CCCs), an intermediate step between incarceration in prison and full release to the community. CCCs are designed to address remaining treatment needs and create an additional layer of programmatic support to ease full community reentry. While living in the CCC parolees may work or seek employment. CCCs are managed by DOC staff or contracted by the DOC.
It is not acceptable to rely on a community corrections placement instead of developing an appropriate home plan. The board expects that all parolees will contact all acceptable family and friends to seek a place to live.
Some CCCs are specialized in nature. For example, all offenders with certain violent classifications must be paroled to specific CCCs to receive additional programming in violence prevention. Agents for specialized CCCs work directly in the centers and help prepare offenders for full release to the community.

Risk and Needs Assessment

The Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) is a risk and needs assessment conducted prior to a parole interview. This assessment measures the likelihood of someone reoffending and identifies the crime producing needs that must be addressed. The assessment is considered in parole decision making and is used while on supervision.

Parole Education Classes

Upon admission to prison, all inmates participate in a parole education class. When an inmate is scheduled for a parole interview, they will participate in a refresher parole education class, which will focus on the development of a home plan, employment, and certain actions, by law, which must be completed prior to release.

Reentry Planning