Types of Releases
Releasees supervised by the Parole Division are mandatory supervision releasees, discretionary mandatory releasees, and parolees.
Mandatory Supervision is the automatic release from prison to supervision provided by law for restricted categories of offenders. Eligible offenders are released onto mandatory supervision when their calendar time served added to their good time credit equals the length of their prison sentence. The release to mandatory supervision does not require the approval of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Board does set the mandatory conditions of release.
In 1995, the 74th Legislature gave the Board authority to review eligible offenders whose offenses were committed on or after September 1, 1996, for possible release to Discretionary Mandatory Supervision. The Board must review eligible offenders for possible release to discretionary mandatory supervision on or before their eligibility date. However, as with parole release, the Board has the discretion to grant or deny release.
Parole is the release of an offender by a decision of the Board which has complete discretion to grant or deny parole on a case by case basis. Parolees include offenders released on "MRIS" (Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision previously known as "Special Needs Parole") which is an early release program for non-violent offenders who are terminally ill, physically handicapped, mentally ill, or have an intellectual developmental disorder and pose no threat to public safety.