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Board of Parole

Board of Parole - Frequently Asked Questions/Information
General Information:

  • The Recall Date is only an approximate date for when an offender will be reviewed. Offenders are reviewed a month prior to their recall dates.

  • Who can I speak with regarding a Board Decision if it's not on the website?

    You will need to contact the Inmate's counselor at the institution for decision information, as they will have it first, followed by the Inmate.

    Can I meet with Parole Board Members?

    Persons that walk-in will not be able to meet with a Board member. You must make an appointment to speak with a Board member. If you wish to make an appointment please contact the Board secretary at (515)-725-5757.

    Are Parole Officers employed by the Board of Parole?

    No. You need to contact the parole office in the judicial district in which the parolee is being supervised to speak to a parole officer. Please see the link below for Community Based Corrections contacts:
    Department of Corrections Contacts

    What is a staff initiation?

    The counselor at the prison has the prerogative to bring an inmate to the Board's attention if they feel they are ready for a release. If the counselor does so, they are asking the Board to consider a release for the inmate. Staff initiations are routine procedures and are by recommendation only. The Board is the only releasing authority and has the last word as to which inmates are to be released.

    How does a Review differ from an Interview?

    By law, offenders receive an annual or yearly review. An inmate is only considered for a review if he/she doesn't have a mandatory minimum or life sentence.

    Once the mandatory minimum has been served the offender will be scheduled for a review. A lifer will not get a review unless the Governor has commuted the sentence to a term of years.

    The Board does a file review of each offender the month before the scheduled annual and will determine if they want to schedule an interview for the offender or make a decision on the case at that time. They can either decide to give a parole, work release, deny the release or set up an interview. Interviews are conducted over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) with a three member Board panel.

    An interview is a face-to-face or Iowa Communications Network (ICN) hearing between the Board panel and an inmate. If the Board has asked for an interview, there is a high probability that some type of releasing action may result.

    All reviews and interviews are open to the public.

    What are the factors considered in parole and work release decisions?

    The board may consider the following factors and others deemed relevant to the parole and work release decisions:
    • Previous criminal record
    • Nature and circumstances of the offense
    • Recidivism record
    • Convictions or behavior indicating a propensity for violence
    • Participation in institutional programs
    • Psychiatric and psychological evaluations
    • Length of time served
    • Evidence of serious or habitual institutional misconduct
    • Success or failure while on probation
    • Prior parole or work release history
    • Prior refusal to accept parole or work release
    • History of drug or alcohol use
    • A parole plan formulated by the inmate
    • General attitude and behavior while incarcerated
    • Risk assessment

    How long does it take to get out of prison once a release is approved?

    It takes 2-3 weeks after a parole is approved to be released from prison. However, if paroled out-of-state, it will take approximately 2 months before being released.

    If given a work release, it depends on the length of the waiting list for that residential facility to determine when an offender will be released to the residential facility. This can vary from 3 weeks to 6 months.

    How can we get a hardship or medical parole for our loved one?

    The Board of parole does not grant paroles due to medical reasons or for family hardship cases.

    Attending a Parole Hearing:

    Can I attend a Parole Hearing?

    Yes. Our hearings are open to the public however, if you are a member of the public, you will need to contact the Parole Liaison Officer at (515)-725-5760 to make accommodations to attend a hearing. If you are a registered victim you will need to contact the Victim Coordinator at (515)-725-5761.

    Can minors attend parole hearings?

    Hearings are open to the public therefore a minor's attendance is at the discretion of the minor's guardian. Please be aware that crimes are discussed in detail, and may not be appropriate for individuals under the age of eighteen.