TITLE 13
Criminals – Correctional Institutions

CHAPTER 13-8
Parole

SECTION 13-8-18.1


§ 13-8-18.1 Preliminary parole violation hearing.

(a) As soon as is practicable after a detention for an alleged violation of parole, the parole board shall afford the alleged parole violator a preliminary parole revocation hearing before a hearing officer designated by the board. Such hearing officer shall not have had any prior supervisory involvement over the alleged violator.

(b) The alleged violator shall, within five (5) days of the detention, in Rhode Island be given written notice of the time, place and purpose of the preliminary hearing. The notice shall state the specific conditions of parole that are alleged to have been violated and in what manner. The notice shall also inform the alleged violator of the following rights in connection with the preliminary hearing:

(1) The right to appear and speak in his/her own behalf;

(2) The right to call witnesses and present evidence;

(3) The right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him/her, unless the hearing officer finds on the record that a witness may be subjected to risk of harm if his or her identity is revealed; and

(4) The right to retain counsel and, if unable to afford counsel, the right under certain circumstances to the appointment of counsel for the preliminary hearing.

The determination of whether or not the alleged violator is entitled to appointed counsel, if such a request is made, shall be made on the record and in accordance with all relevant statutory and constitutional provisions.

(c) The notice form must explain in clear and unambiguous language the procedures established by the parole board concerning an alleged violator's exercise of the rights denominated in subsection (b), including the mechanism for compelling the attendance of witnesses, the mechanism for obtaining documentary evidence, and the mechanism for requesting the appointment of counsel.

(d) The preliminary hearing shall take place no later than ten (10) days after service of notice set forth in subsection (b). A preliminary hearing may be postponed beyond the ten (10) day time limit for good cause at the request of either party, but may not be postponed at the request of the state for more than five (5) additional days. The parole revocation charges shall be dismissed with prejudice if a preliminary hearing is not conducted within the time period established by this paragraph, not including any delay directly attributed to a postponement requested by the alleged violator.

(e) If the alleged violator has requested the appointment of counsel at least five (5) days prior to the preliminary hearing, the preliminary hearing may not proceed without counsel present unless the hearing officer finds on the record, in accordance with all relevant statutory and constitutional provisions, that the alleged violator is not entitled to appointed counsel. If the alleged violator is found to have been entitled to counsel and no such counsel has been appointed, the parole violation charges must be dismissed with prejudice. If the request for counsel was made four (4) or fewer days in advance of the preliminary hearing, the time limit within which the preliminary hearing must be held may be extended up to five (5) additional days.

(f) The standard of proof at the preliminary hearing shall be probable cause to believe that the alleged violator has violated one or more conditions of his or her parole and that the violation or violations were not de minimus in nature. Proof of conviction of a crime committed subsequent to release on parole shall constitute probable cause for the purposes of the preliminary hearing.

(g) At the preliminary hearing, the hearing officer shall review the violation charges with the alleged violator, direct the presentation of the evidence concerning the alleged violation, receive the statements of the witnesses and documentary evidence, and allow cross-examination of those witnesses in attendance. All proceedings shall be recorded and preserved.

(h) At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the hearing officer shall inform the alleged violator of his or her decision as to whether there is probable cause to believe that the alleged violator has violated one or more conditions of his or her parole and, if so, whether the violation or violations were de minimus in nature. Those determinations shall be based solely on the evidence adduced at the preliminary hearing. The hearing officer shall state in writing the reasons for his or her determinations and the evidence relied upon for those determinations. A copy of the written findings shall be sent to the alleged violator, and his or her counsel if applicable, within fourteen (14) days of the preliminary hearing.

(i) If the hearing officer finds that there is no probable cause to believe that the alleged violator has violated one or more conditions of his or her parole or that the violation or violations, if any, were de minimus in nature, the parole chairperson shall rescind the detention warrant and direct that the alleged violator, unless in custody for other reasons, be released and restored to parole supervision.

(j) If the hearing officer finds that there is probable cause to believe that the alleged violator has violated one or more conditions of his or her parole and that the violation or violations were not de minimus in nature, the alleged violator shall be held for a final parole revocation hearing. A final parole revocation hearing must be held as soon as is practicable, but in no event more than ninety (90) days after the conclusion of the preliminary hearing.

(k) An alleged violator may waive his or her right to a preliminary hearing. Such a waiver must be in written form. In the event of such a written waiver, a final parole revocation hearing must be held as soon as is practicable, but in no event more than ninety (90) days after the right to a preliminary hearing is waived. Notwithstanding the above, a final parole revocation hearing may be continued by the alleged violator beyond the ninety (90) day time period.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2003, ch. 209, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 369, § 1.)