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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 136: Initiating release of prisoner; hearing; submission of further information to board; contents of reports

Section 136. No application for release on parole of a prisoner made by him or on his behalf shall be entertained by the parole board, but such a release of a prisoner by said board shall be solely on its own initiative. In every case where a prisoner is serving a sentence for a felony, except for those prisoners serving a sentence for any offense from the superior court for a term of one year or less or from the district court for a term of one year to a jail or house of correction, the parole board shall, within sixty days before such prisoner first becomes eligible for parole, grant such prisoner a hearing before the board and shall consider carefully and thoroughly the question whether a parole permit should be granted to such prisoner. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the board may postpone a hearing until 30 days before a prisoner first becomes eligible for parole, if the interests of justice so require and upon publishing written findings of the necessity for such postponement. Prisoners entitled to such a hearing shall, so far as reasonably practicable, be granted a hearing in the order in which they respectively become eligible for parole. At least ninety days prior to the time a prisoner serving sentence for a felony first becomes eligible for parole, the commissioner shall submit to the parole board or to an officer designated by it, all information with regard to such prisoner not already so submitted. Such information shall include, in addition to any other pertinent information: (a) a report from the warden or superintendent of each prison in which such prisoner has been confined as to the prisoner's conduct in prison, with a detailed statement as to all infractions of prison rules and discipline, all punishments meted out to such prisoner, and the circumstances connected therewith, as well as a report from each such warden or superintendent as to the extent to which such prisoner has responded to the efforts made in prison to improve his mental and moral condition, with a statement as to the prisoner's attitude toward society, toward the judge who sentenced him, toward the district attorney who convicted him, toward the policeman who arrested him, and how the prisoner then regards the crime for which he is in prison and his previous criminal career; (b) a report giving the prisoner's industrial record while in prison, the nature of his occupations while in prison, and a recommendation as to the kind of work he is best fitted to perform and at which he is most likely to succeed when he leaves prison; (c) a report of such physical, mental and psychiatric examinations as have been made of such prisoner which so far as practicable shall have been made within two months of the time of his eligibility for parole. The parole board shall reach its own conclusions as to the desirability of granting such prisoner a parole permit.

For those prisoners serving a sentence in a jail or house of correction, and for those prisoners serving a Massachusetts sentence in a correctional institution of another state, hearings shall be granted in accordance with section one hundred and thirty-four.