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NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

 

On October 28, 2021, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, the Board will conduct a public meeting to recieve comment and feedback on six Administrative Rules that required review and have been updated and amended.  The Administrative Rules that will be open for comment and discussion include the following:  R671-301 Personal Appearance; R671-303 Information Received, Maintained or Used by the Board; R671-304 Hearing Record; R671-305 Board Decisions and Orders; R671-310 Rescission Hearings; and R671-316 Redetermination.  Copies of proposed rule changes are available at THIS LINK.  Individuals may participate in person at the Board's offices or virtually through WebEx at https://utah-doc.webex.com/meet/bopplive.

 

UPDATE ON IN-PERSON HEARINGS

 

Effective September 1, 2021, the Board of Pardons and Parole is resuming in-person hearings at the Draper prison facility.  The return will be gradual.  All hearings moving forward, whether in-person or not, will continue to be streamed live over the Internet to provide better access as the Board conducts its work.

The following outlines the initial criteria that will be followed – in most cases – for this gradual return to in-person hearings:

  • Hearings for individuals convicted of offenses that involve a loss of life will be conducted in-person at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, regardless of where the individual is currently housed in Utah.
  • Hearings for individuals currently housed at the Utah State Prison in Draper that require interpreter services will be conducted in-person.
  • Except for loss of life cases, individuals currently housed at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, as well as those housed at contract county jail facilities, will continue to be conducted via video.
  • If the individual is currently housed at the Utah State Prison in Draper, other types of hearings (such as parole violation hearings) may be conducted in-person.


COVID-19 precautions continue at the Draper facility (temperature screening, mask requirement, etc.).  There will be limited seating (only 8 to 10 individuals may be accommodated at a time) at the Draper prison hearing room to ensure proper social distancing.  According to Board rule (R671-302), seating is prioritized in the following order:

  • Individual involved in the hearing
  • A victim or victim representative of record
  • Up to three (3) victim advocates or others designated by a victim or victim representative
  • Up to five (5) individuals selected by the offender
  • Any officials designated or approved by the Board
  • Members of the public on a first come basis


Any victim or victim representative planning to participate in a hearing, either in-person or by telephone, is encouraged to contact the Board’s victim coordinator at 801-261-6464 at least three days prior to the scheduled hearing to make arrangements.  If a large group of people are interested in attending a hearing, it will also be helpful to contact the Board’s victim coordinator prior to the scheduled date of the hearing.  Seating at the hearing will follow the prioritization provided above.

 

MISSION

The mission of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole is to provide fair and balanced release, supervision, and clemency decisions that address community safety, victim needs, offender accountability, risk reduction, and reintegration.

BOARD JURISDICTION 

The Constitution of the State of Utah creates the Board of Pardons and Parole, and delegates the power and authority of the State to the Board to determine whether, and under what conditions, persons committed to prison may be released, supervised, or returned to custody. Additional authority and structure are derived from statutory enactment by the Utah Legislature. (UCA Title 77, Chapter 27). 

The Board functions as an independent state agency within the executive branch. The Board itself consists of five full-time members, with up to five pro tempore members available to act for full-time members, should such a need arise. Board members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, and serve staggered five-year terms. Board action takes place upon the concurrence of a majority of board members. The agency was created and staffed to assist the Board with the discharge of its constitutional duties.

 

SENTENCING IN UTAH

Prison sentences in Utah are indeterminate, meaning that imposed sentences are for a specified range of time, including a minimum and maximum time frame. The Legislature specifies the elements of, level of severity of, and applicable sentence for, each crime. When a sentencing court imposes a prison sentence following conviction, the court imposes the applicable indeterminate sentence. Currently, the typical indeterminate sentences in Utah are: 0-5 years for 3rd Degree Felonies; 1-15 years for 2nd Degree Felonies; and 5-Life for 1st Degree felonies.  First degree felonies may carry a minimum sentence of between 3 and 25 years, depending upon the specific crime of conviction and applicable sentencing enhancements imposed by the court. 

Once a person is sentenced to prison for the commission of a felony or Class A misdemeanor, the Board of Pardons and Parole has jurisdiction over that individual. When a person is sent to prison in Utah, the offender must serve the entire sentence imposed unless the Board acts to release the offender prior to the expiration of the sentence.

 

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