Appeals and Access to Parole Files


An administrative appeal may be filed by an incarcerated individual who has been denied discretionary release (parole) by the Board of Parole. In addition, an incarcerated individual may file an administrative appeal from a decision rescinding a prior grant of parole. Parolees who have had their parole, conditional release, presumptive release, or period of post-release supervision revoked may also file an administrative appeal.

A Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Board of Parole's Appeals Unit within 30 days of the date incarcerated individual or parole violator receives written notice of the Board's decision. If the appeal is from a final revocation decision, the 30-day filing period begins when either incarcerated individuals or their attorneys (if they were represented by one at the Final Hearing) receive a copy of the revocation decision.

Possible Questions on Appeal

The following questions may be raised on appeal from a minimum period of imprisonment or release proceeding:

  1. Did the proceeding and/or determination violate lawful procedure, or was it affected by an error of law, was it arbitrary and capricious, or was it otherwise unlawful?
  2. Did the Board member or members making the determination rely on erroneous information as shown in the record of the proceeding, or was relevant information not available for consideration?
  3. Was the determination excessive?

The questions below may be raised on appeal from a parole rescission or final revocation determination, and subject to the limitation that evidentiary rulings will be considered only if a timely objection was made at the hearing:

  1. Was the determination supported by a preponderance of the evidence?
  2. Questions 1 through 3 above.

Legal Assistance

Incarcerated individuals may obtain private counsel to assist in completing their appeal. If they cannot afford private counsel, they should contact the closest legal services organization providing free legal services for indigent individuals, or the county court in the county where they are imprisoned.

They may obtain the names and addresses of such legal services organizations and appropriate courts by contacting their ORC or the Inmate Law Clerk of the Law Library at their correctional facility.

Perfecting the Appeal

After the Notice of Appeal is filed, the appeal is perfected by filing an original and two copies of a letter or brief with the Appeals Unit of the Board of Parole in Albany. That document should state the specific questions raised on appeal and why the appellant believes the decision was incorrect. If the individual is relying on documents to support their arguments, those documents should be attached to their letter or brief.

An Administrative Appeal must be perfected within four months of the date on which the Notice of Appeal has been received by the Appeals Unit.

The Appeals Unit will reply in writing and advise them of the final date by which the brief or letter on the appeal must be received. This four-month filing period may be extended where a written request is made prior to the expiration of the time limit. Extensions may be granted at the discretion of the Appeals Unit for good reasons.

Appeal Decision

The Appeals Unit prepares findings and recommendations to the Board of Parole. Three members of the Board of Parole ultimately decide an Administrative Appeal.

Once a final decision is rendered, the Appeals Unit will send the appellant a copy of its findings and recommendations, together with a copy of the Board's final decision. If the Board either reverses or modifies its original decision, the Appeals Unit also instructs appropriate staff concerning what action is to be taken.

All relevant issues should be submitted when the administrative appeal is filed to make review and determination easier and quicker.