HISTORY OF THE UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE

The Utah Board of Pardons is one of the State’s original executive branch agencies and was created in 1896 by Utah's original constitution. Originally the Board was comprised of the Governor, the Justices of the Utah Supreme Court, and the State Attorney General. Within a few years of statehood, the Board was changed to an independent agency and Board membership was changed to members who are appointed by the “Board of Corrections”. 

The following major changes to the Board have occurred since 1953:


1953    Board consisted of three part-time members.

 
1977    Board consisted of three part-time members and three pro tempore members.


1983    Board consisted of three full-time members and three pro tempore members.

 
1985    The Governor and not the Board of Corrections appoints the Board.

 
1986    Jurisdiction expanded from felony cases to restitution and class A misdemeanors.

 
1988    Board required to notify victims of an offender's parole hearing.


1990    Board consists of five full-time members and three pro tempore members with staggered
           five year terms. Chairperson appointed by Governor for indefinite term.


1992    Commutation power of the Board of Pardons restricted. Death sentence may only be
           commuted to "life witout parole".


1993    The Utah constitutional provision relating to the Board of Pardons was rewritten to include
           changing the name to the Board of Pardons and Parole.


2015    The Justice Reinvestment Initiative established an Earned Time Program, Earned
           Compliance Program, and made changes to parole revocation.