The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : Eligibility for Parole(Cite as: 28 V.S.A. § 502a)
§ 502a. Release on parole
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section and section 501 of this title, no inmate serving a sentence with a minimum term shall be released on parole until the inmate has served the minimum term of the sentence, less any reductions for good behavior.
(b) An inmate who is not eligible for presumptive parole pursuant to section 501a of this title shall be released on parole by the written order of the Parole Board if the Board determines:
(1) the inmate is eligible for parole;
(2) there is a reasonable probability that the inmate can be released without detriment to the community or to the inmate; and
(3) the inmate is willing and capable of fulfilling the obligations of a law-abiding citizen.
(c) A parole under subsection (b) or (e) of this section shall be ordered only for the best interests of the community and of the inmate and shall not be regarded as an award of clemency, a reduction of sentence, or a conditional pardon.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (e) of this section, or any other provision of law to the contrary, any inmate who is serving a sentence, including an inmate who has not yet served the minimum term of the sentence, who is diagnosed as having a terminal or serious medical condition so as to render the inmate unlikely to be physically capable of presenting a danger to society, may be released on medical parole to a hospital, hospice, other licensed inpatient facility, or suitable housing accommodation as specified by the Parole Board. Provided the inmate has authorized the release of his or her personal health information, the Department shall promptly notify the Parole Board upon receipt of medical information of an inmate's diagnosis of a terminal or serious medical condition. As used in this subsection, a "serious medical condition" does not mean a condition caused by noncompliance with a medical treatment plan.
(e)(1) The Department shall identify each inmate meeting the presumptive parole eligibility criteria in section 501a of this title and refer each eligible inmate who does not meet the risk criteria set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection to the Parole Board for an administrative review at least 60 days prior to the inmate's eligibility date.
(2) The Department shall screen each inmate it identifies as eligible for presumptive parole for the risk criteria set forth in this subdivision. If the Department determines that, based on clear and convincing evidence, there is a reasonable probability that the inmate's release would result in a detriment to the community, or that the inmate is not willing and capable of fulfilling the obligations of parole, the Department shall, at least 60 days prior to the inmate's eligibility date, refer the inmate to the Parole Board for a parole hearing.
(3)(A) Within 30 days of the inmate's eligibility date, the Parole Board shall conduct an administrative review of each inmate the Department identifies as eligible for presumptive release who does not meet the risk criteria set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection. The Board may deny presumptive release and set a hearing if it determines, through its administrative review, that a victim or victims should have the opportunity to participate in a parole hearing. If the Board determines there is a victim or victims who should be notified, the Department shall notify the victim or victims, and the Board shall provide them with the opportunity to participate in a parole hearing.
(B) The Parole Board shall conduct a parole hearing pursuant to section 502 of this title for each eligible inmate that the Department determines meets the risk criteria in subdivision (2) of this subsection. (Added 1997, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 61, eff. April 29, 1998; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 187; 2017, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2021.)