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By statute (MCL 791.233), even after serving the minimum sentence, a prisoner may not be granted parole until the Parole and Commutation Board has reasonable assurance, after consideration of all of the facts and circumstances, that the prisoner will not become a menace to society or a risk to the public safety. The factors considered by the Parole and Commutation Board in making parole decisions include the nature of the current offense, the prisoner's criminal history, prison behavior, program performance, age, parole guidelines score, risk as determined by various validated assessment instruments and information obtained during the prisoner's interview, if one is conducted. The Parole and Commutation Board also considers information from crime victims and other relevant sources.
Most parole decisions are made by three-member panels of the Parole and Commutation Board. Decisions for prisoners serving a life sentence are made by majority vote of all fifteen members of the Parole and Commutation Board.
The Parole and Commutation Board uses a numerical scoring system called the parole guidelines to apply objective criteria to the decision-making process. This tool is designed to reduce disparity in parole decisions and increase parole decision-making efficiency. The factors used in the parole guidelines are set forth in Administrative Rule(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Parole may be ordered without an interview if the prisoner's parole guideline score places him/her in the high probability of parole range (+3 and above) unless the prisoner is serving for an offense involving a sexual assault or one which resulted in a death. A prisoner may be denied parole without an interview if his/her parole guideline score places him/her in the low probability of parole range (-13 or lower). The Parole and Commutation Board's decision may depart from the parole guidelines range but the Parole and Commutation Board must provide, in writing, substantial and compelling reasons in support of the decision.
During the period between the Parole and Commutation Board's decision and the prisoner's release, the prisoner's behavior continues to be monitored. If the prisoner becomes involved in misconduct in the prison or the Parole and Commutation Board becomes aware of other adverse information, the parole may be suspended. Misconduct which occurs after release to parole may result in revocation of parole at the discretion of the Parole and Commutation Board.