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The United States Parole Commission is the parole board responsible to grant or deny parole and to supervise those released on parole to incarcerated individuals who come under its jurisdiction.[1] It is part of the United States Department of Justice.

The commission has jurisdiction over:

  1. Persons who committed a Federal offense before 1987-11-01
  2. Persons who committed a D.C. Code offense before 2000-08-05
  3. Persons who committed a Uniform Code of Military Justice offense and are parole-eligible
  4. Persons who are serving prison terms imposed by foreign countries and have been transferred to the United States to serve their sentence[1]

Additionally, the Commission has the responsibility to supervise two additional groups for whom they do not have parole jurisdiction

  1. Persons who committed a D.C. Code offense after 2000-08-04
  2. Persons who have been placed on probation or paroled by a state that have also been placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program[1]


The first Board of Parole had three members and was established by legislation on 1930-05-13 as an independent board. As a result of an order of the Attorney General, the Board began reporting directly to him in August 1945. Further legislation was passed on 1950-09-30 which placed the Board under the Department of Justice.[2]

Congress passed the Parole Commission and Reorganization Act which took effect in May 1976. The Board was re-titled the United States Parole Commission. The Act also incorporated the regions that had been established by a prior pilot project, required explicit guidelines for decision making, required written rejections, and established an appeal process. The Comprenhensive Crime Control Act of 1984 brought major changes to the Commission. While preserving the Commission's jurisdiction over persons who committed offices prior to 1987-11-01, it established determinate sentences for federal crimes; thus federal prisoners after that date were not eligible for parole consideration.[2]

Although the Commission was to be abolished in 1992, the life of the Commission was extended by the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, the Parole Commission Phaseout Act of 1996, and the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act of 2002. The 1996 act required the Attorney General to report annually beginning in 1998 on whether the Commission remained cost effective. The 2002 act extended the life of the commission until November 2005.[2]

The United States Parole Commission Extension and Sentencing Commission Authority Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-76, 119 Stat. 2035., again extended the life of the USPC until November 2008.

The "United States parole Commission Extension Act of 2008", Pub. L. No. 110-312, 122 Stat 3013, extended the life of the USPC until November 2011.


  1. ^ a b c "Mission". U.S. Parole Commission. Retrieved 2006-08-10.  
  2. ^ a b c "History of the Federal Parole System". U.S. Parole Commission. Retrieved 2006-08-10.  

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