State Pardon & Parole Board To Give Offenders Reason Why Their Parole Was Denied

Friday, October 18th 2019, 12:04 pm
By: Ashley Holden

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is making a new effort to better communicate with offenders by offering a reason if they get denied parole.

The board's Executive Director Steven Bickley told News 9 this is all about treating offenders with dignity and giving them a chance to correct their behavior.

Bickley said the board looks at a variety of factors when considering someone for parole, including the nature of the original crime, any victim protests and the offender’s behavior during incarceration. They also take into account if the offender has participated in any rehabilitation programs.

Bickley said the new practice of giving reasons for denying parole was something that started in September after board members went through some training.

"They realized one of the best practices was to communicate back with the inmate why parole was not granted,” said Bickley. “So, that they can improve their behavior and, if you will, remedy those issues.”

He said they've come up with five reasons to give offenders that are denied to better explain the board’s decision.

“It’s completely voluntary, and so there's no requirement that our board does this or any member does this,” said Bickley. “But they have all willingly engaged in this because they believe it’s the right thing to do."