United States Parole Commission, Justice.Start Printed Page 67791
Interim rule with request for comment.
The U.S. Parole Commission is amending its procedures governing the mandatory release of military prisoners confined in federal civilian prisons. Such mandatory release is earned through good time credits. The amendment implements a Department of Defense Instruction that permits the U.S. Parole Commission to place a military prisoner who is released from a federal civilian prison under “mandatory supervision as if on parole” until the expiration of the sentence imposed, if the Commission determines that such supervision is necessary for the orderly transition of the offender back into community.
Effective Date: These rule amendments are effective December 9, 2002.
Comment Date: Comments must be received by December 23, 2002.
Send comments to the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Parole Commission, 5550 Friendship Blvd., Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Office of General Counsel, U.S. Parole Commission, 5550 Friendship Blvd., Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, telephone (301) 492-5959. Questions about this publication are welcome, but inquiries concerning individual cases cannot be answered over the telephone.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Former Department of Defense regulations did not permit any military prisoner who was released by operation of law due to good time credits to be subject to supervision in the community for the remainder of the imposed sentence. This was in contrast to the requirement that applies to federal civilian prisoners who are eligible for but denied parole. Prisoners sentenced by military courts martial and then transferred to a federal institution come under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Parole Commission for parole purposes pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 858. Thus, in the absence of any rule authorizing post-release supervision for military mandatory releasees, there was a gap in the Commission's authority to require post-release supervision for military prisoners mandatorily released on good time from institutions operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. (The Bureau of Prisons considered former 18 U.S.C. 4164—which authorizes mandatory release supervision for federal civilian prisoners eligible for parole—to be inapplicable to military prisoners who committed their crimes on or after November 1, 1987.) Thus, if the Commission denied parole and continued a military prisoner to the expiration of his sentence, the Commission was not able to supervise the offender. However, if the Commission paroled the military prisoner prior to the mandatory release date, the Commission could supervise the military offender just as any other parolee to the expiration of the prisoner's sentence.
At the request of the Attorney General of the United States, the Department of Defense has amended its regulations regarding the mandatory release of military prisoners, including prisoners in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. See DoD Instruction 1325.7, “Administration of Military Correctional Facilities and Clemency and Parole Authority,” July 17, 2001. These regulations generally allow for the supervision of military prisoners mandatorily released with good time deductions. In the regulations, the Department of Defense adopted a policy to use mandatory supervision in all cases except where the Service Clemency and Parole Boards find it inappropriate. The regulations also permit the Parole Commission to place military prisoners who are in federal civilian custody on “mandatory supervision” after they are mandatorily released, if the Commission finds that such supervision is appropriate “to provide an orderly transition to civilian life for released prisoners and to protect the communities into which the prisoners are released.” See DoD Instruction 1325.7 (6.20.8). However, the DoD Instruction is silent as to whether the Commission should, as the Department of Defense has done, adopt a general presumption that mandatory supervision is appropriate. Additionally, the new DoD instruction may be applied only to offenders who committed their crimes 30 days or more after the rule change. Therefore, under the terms of the DoD instruction, the Commission can only require supervision if the prisoner committed his crime on or after August 16, 2001.
The Commission is adopting a paragraph at the end of 28 CFR 2.35 so that the Commission's rules will conform to the Department of Defense regulations and policy regarding the mandatory release of military prisoners. Pursuant to the DoD Instruction, the amended rule states that when the Commission orders a military offender continued to expiration, the military prisoner will be placed on “mandatory supervision” until the expiration of his sentence if the Commission finds that the DoD criteria are met. The Commission is adopting this rule in order to give military offenders incarcerated in federal civilian prisons notice that, if the Commission denies the prisoner parole and continues the prisoner to the expiration of the prisoner's sentence, the prisoner may be required to serve a period of mandatory supervision after the prisoner's release. Although the Commission already has the authority under Department of Defense regulations to order mandatory supervision for military prisoners who committed their offenses on or after August 16, 2001, this rule further clarifies the Commission's authority and explains the Commission's general statement of policy regarding mandatory supervision.
The amended rule also includes the presumption that supervision is appropriate for all military mandatory releasees unless case-specific factors indicate that supervision is not appropriate. See DoD Instruction 1325.7 (6.20.1). The Commission is adopting this presumption for several reasons. First, the presumption in favor of supervision conforms with the presumption in the DoD Instruction. The inclusion of the presumption in favor of supervision after mandatory release will thus result in a uniform application of the Instruction among military offenders released from military and civilian institutions. Most importantly, the Commission agrees with the Department of Defense's general assessment that supervision in the community is, for the majority of cases, a highly effective technique to provide for a transition into the community and to protect the communities into which the prisoners are released. Therefore, the rule states that mandatory supervision shall be presumed unless the Commission finds case-specific factors illustrating that such supervision is inappropriate.
Finally, the rule makes it clear that, a prisoner on “mandatory supervision” will be subject to the conditions of parole at 28 CFR 2.40 and will be eligible for early termination of the supervision under 28 CFR 2.43. Thus, under the rule, military prisoners released on mandatory supervision will be subject to the same conditions and will have the same prospect for early termination of their supervision as federal offenders under parole or mandatory supervision. Start Printed Page 67792
This interim rule will be implemented for any military offender mandatorily released on good time deductions from a federal civilian prison if the offender committed his offense after August 15, 2001.
Regulatory Assessment Requirements
The U.S. Parole Commission has determined that this interim rule does not constitute a significant rule within the meaning of Executive Order 12866. The interim rule will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), and is deemed by the Commission to be a rule of agency practice that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties pursuant to Section 804(3)(c) of the Congressional Review Act.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 2End List of Subjects
The Amended RuleStart Amendment Part
Accordingly, the U.S. Parole Commission is adopting the following amendments toEnd Amendment Part Start Part
PART 2—[AMENDED]End Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation forEnd Amendment Part
Subpart A—United States Code Prisoners and ParoleesStart Amendment Part
2. Section 2.35 is amended by adding the following paragraph (d):End Amendment Part
(d) If the Commission orders a military prisoner who is under the Commission's jurisdiction for an offense committed after August 15, 2001 continued to the expiration of his sentence (or otherwise does not grant parole), the Commission shall place such prisoner on mandatory supervision after release if the Commission determines that such supervision is appropriate to provide an orderly transition to civilian life for the prisoner and to protect the community into which such prisoner is released. The Commission shall presume that mandatory supervision is appropriate for all such prisoners unless case-specific factors indicate that supervision is inappropriate. A prisoner who is placed on mandatory supervision shall be deemed to be released as if on parole, and shall be subject to the conditions of release at § 2.40 until the expiration of the maximum term for which he was sentenced, unless the Commission terminates the supervision early under § 2.43.
Dated: October 31, 2002.
Edward F. Reilly, Jr.,
Chairman, U.S. Parole Commission.
[FR Doc. 02-28318 Filed 11-6-02; 8:45 am]
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