In Nevada, provisions relating to pardon and parole are provided under Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.010 through § 213.100, and Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10885 through § 213.154. Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.108, the state Board of Parole Commissioners (“Board”) is created within the department of public safety. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the governor.
Duties of the Board
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10885 provides that the Board should adopt specific standards for each type of convicted person to assist the Board in determining whether to grant or revoke parole. The regulations should include standards for determining whether to grant or revoke the parole of a convicted person who committed a capital offense, who was sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment for life, who was convicted of a sexual offense involving the use or threat of use of force or violence, who was convicted as a habitual criminal, who is a repeat offender, who was convicted of any other type of offense. The standards must be based upon objective criteria for determining the person’s probability of success on parole[i].
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10885 also provides that in establishing the standards, the Board will consider the information on decisions regarding parole that is compiled and maintained and all other factors which are relevant in determining the probability that a convicted person will live and remain at liberty without violating the law if parole is granted or continued. The Board include factors such as:
- The severity of the crime committed;
- The criminal history of the person;
- Any disciplinary action taken against the person while incarcerated;
- Any previous parole violations or failures;
- Any potential threat to society or the person; and
- The length of his/her incarceration.
The Board also should not consider whether the person has appealed the judgment of imprisonment for which the prisoner is being considered for parole. The standards adopted by the Board must provide for a greater punishment for a convicted person who has a history of repetitive criminal conduct or who commits a serious crime, with a violent crime considered the most serious, than for a convicted person who does not have a history of repetitive crimes and did not commit a serious crime. The Board should make available to the public a sample of the form the Board uses in determining the probability that a convicted person will live and remain at liberty without violating the law if parole is granted or continued[ii].
Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10887, the Board should compile and maintain detailed information concerning all decisions regarding parole. The information must include factors such as:
- The Board’s reasons for each decision to grant, deny, revoke, or continue parole.
- The number of decisions made by the Board granting parole, denying parole, revoking parole, and continuing parole.
The Board should also organize and tabulate the information compiled pursuant to this section at regular intervals, which must not exceed 3 months[iii].
Grounds for release on Parole
Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.1099, the Board can release on parole a prisoner who is otherwise eligible for parole. In determining whether to release a prisoner on parole, the Board will consider whether there is a reasonable probability that the prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the laws; whether the release is incompatible with the welfare of society; and the seriousness of the offense and the history of criminal conduct of the prisoner.
When a person is convicted of a felony and is punished by a sentence of imprisonment, the person will remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Board from the time s/he is released on parole until the expiration of the maximum term of imprisonment imposed by the court[iv].
Conditions of Parole
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.12175 provides that the Board can, as a condition of releasing a prisoner on parole, impose any reasonable conditions on the parolee to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. The Board can require the parolee to remain in this state or a certain county within Nevada. The Board can prohibit the parolee from contacting or attempting to contact a specific person or from causing or attempting to cause another person to contact that person on his/her behalf. The Board can prohibit the parolee from entering a certain geographic area. The Board prohibits the parolee from engaging in specific conduct that may be harmful to his own health, safety or welfare, or the health, safety or welfare of another person.
Authority of the Board
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.150 provides that the Board can make and enforce regulations covering the conduct of paroled prisoners and retake or cause to be retaken and imprisoned any prisoner so upon parole. Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.151, the Board’s written order, certified to by the chief parole and probation officer, is sufficient warrant for any parole and probation officer or other peace officer to arrest any conditionally released or paroled prisoner.
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.155 provides that a person who receives an honorable discharge from parole is immediately restored to the civil rights such as the right to vote; and the right to serve as a juror in a civil action.
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.010 provides that the state Board of Pardons (BOP) commissioners consists of the governor, the justices of the Supreme Court and the attorney general. The BOP can give written notice at least 15 days before a meeting to each victim of the crimes committed by each person whose application for clemency will be considered at the meeting, if the victim so requests in writing and provides his/her current address. If a current address is not provided, the BOP will not be held responsible if the notice is not received by the victim. The victim may submit a written response to the BOP at any time before the meeting. All personal information, including, but not limited to, a current or former address, which pertains to a victim and which is received by the BOP pursuant to this subsection is confidential.
Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.090, a person who is granted a full, unconditional pardon by the BOP is restored all civil rights and is relieved of all disabilities incurred upon conviction. A pardon granted by the BOP will be deemed to be a full, unconditional pardon unless the official document explicitly limits the restoration of the civil rights of the person or does not relieve the person of all disabilities incurred upon conviction. Upon being granted a pardon by the BOP, a person so pardoned must be given an official document which provides that s/he has been granted a pardon. If the person has not been granted a full, unconditional pardon, the official document must explicitly state all limitations on the restoration of the civil rights of the person and all disabilities incurred upon conviction from which the person is not relieved. A person who has been granted a pardon in Nevada or elsewhere and whose official documentation of his/her pardon is lost, damaged or destroyed can file a written request with a court of competent jurisdiction to restore his/her civil rights. Upon verification that the person has been granted a pardon and is eligible to be restored to his/her civil rights, the court can issue an order restoring the person to his/her civil rights.
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.090 also provides that a person who has been granted a pardon in Nevada or elsewhere can present documents as proof that s/he has been restored to his/her civil rights such as:
- official documentation of his/her pardon; or
- a court order restoring his/her civil rights.
[i] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10885.
[iii] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.10887.
[iv] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.1099.