Idaho Pardon and Parole Laws


In Idaho, laws on pardon and parole can be found in Chapter 2, Title 20 of Penal Code.  Pursuant to Idaho Code § 20-201A, a state board of correction consisting of three members is established.  The board members are appointed by the Governor to exercise the duties imposed by law.  The board may transfer to the commission of pardons and parole any and all authority and power as it deems necessary to fulfill the duties, responsibilities, and intent imposed upon it by law[i].

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 20-210, the governor appoints a state commission of pardons and paroles, which has all rights, powers, and authority of the board of pardons.   The commission is composed of five members. The members serve at the pleasure of the governor and not more than three members must be from any one political party.

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 20-216, the board must keep a record of and require reports from all persons on parole or probation and enforce observance of rules and regulations for parole or probation established by the commission or the courts.  It must prepare and publish reports and statistics relating to probation and parole and it must submit to the governor, at such times as the governor may direct, but at least annually, a full and complete report of the board and its agents, showing the disposition of all cases coming before the board or the commission and such additional information relating thereto as the governor may request.

Conditions of Parole

The commission for pardons and parole, in releasing a person on parole, must specify in writing the conditions of parole, and a copy of such conditions must be given to the person paroled. Whenever the commission finds that a parolee may have violated the conditions of parole, the written order of the commission, signed by a member or members of the commission or the executive director, must be sufficient warrant for any law enforcement officer to take into custody such person.  It is the duty of all sheriffs, police, constables, parole and probation officers, prison officials and other peace officers, to execute such order.  Such warrant suspends the person’s parole until a determination on the merits of the allegations of the violation has been made pursuant to a revocation hearing.  From and after the issuance of the warrant and suspension of the parole of any convicted person and until arrest, the parolee is considered a fugitive from justice.  Such person so recommitted must serve out the sentence, and the time during which such prisoner was out on parole is not deemed a part thereof; unless the commission, in its discretion, determines otherwise[ii].

Final Discharge of Parolee

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 20-233, when any paroled prisoner has performed the obligations of his or her parole for such time as satisfies the commission that his or her final release is not incompatible with his or her welfare and that of society, the commission may make the final order of discharge and issue to the paroled prisoner a certificate of discharge.  However, discharge must not be made in any case within a period of less than one year after the date of release on parole, except that when the period of the maximum sentence provided by law expires at an earlier date, then a final order of discharge must be made and a certificate of discharge issued to the paroled prisoner not later than the date of expiration of said maximum sentence.

Respites, Reprieves, Commutations and Pardons

Pursuant to a Idaho Code § 20-240, the governor has the power to grant respites or reprieves in all cases of convictions for offenses against the state, except treason or imprisonment on impeachment.  However, such respites or reprieves must not extend beyond the next session of the commission.  Moreover, such commission at such session continues or determines such respite or reprieve, or may commute or pardon the offense.  In cases of conviction of treason, the governor has the power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case is reported to the legislature at its next regular session, when the legislature pardons or commutes the sentence, directs its execution or grants a further reprieve.  The commission has full and final authority to grant commutations and pardons except with respect to sentences for murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor child, and manufacture or delivery of controlled substances.  The commission must conduct commutation and pardon proceedings pursuant to rules and regulations adopted in accordance with law and may attach such conditions as it deems appropriate in granting pardons or commutations.  With respect to commutations and pardons for the offenses named above, the commission’s determination only constitutes a recommendation subject to approval or disapproval by the governor.  No commutation or pardon for such named offenses is effective until presented to and approved by the governor.  Any commutation or pardon recommendation not so approved within 30 days of the commission’s recommendation is deemed to be denied[iii].

Idaho Pardon and Parole Laws

[i] Idaho Code § 20-201A.

[ii] Idaho Code § 20-228.

[iii] Idaho Code § 20-240.