The federal Revitalization Act of 1997 and subsequent legislation placed the management of the parole function under a federal agency, the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC). This past November, Congress authorized the elimination of the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC) in November 2020. This opened the door to returning these functions to District control.
Now, DC Representative Elenore Holmes Norton introduced legislation to transfer the USPC functions to the District of Columbia. HR 8890 the District of Columbia Parole and Supervised Release Act would, if enacted, transfers full authority for parole and supervised released away from the USPC and to the District.
What it Means
Firstly, it’s important to understand that this legislation was introduced in the 116th Congress, which ended on Jan. 3, 2021. So new legislation will have to be introduced in the new Congress.
However, this bill provides a template for future legislation. A summary of key points from the bill are given below.
- STATED PURPOSE OF BILL
“To transfer from the United States Parole Commission to the District of Columbia the authority to grant, deny, and revoke parole and impose conditions on an order of parole, and the authority to modify, revoke, and terminate a term of supervised release and impose conditions on an order of supervised release, in the case of individuals who are imprisoned felons eligible for parole, reparole, or supervised release under the laws of the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.”
- The bill terminates the authority of the USPC on November 1, 21 2022.
- The bill transfers full authority for parole and supervised released away from the USPC and to the District.
“… the District of Columbia shall have the authority to enact legislation, promulgate regulations and guidelines, and take other actions to carry out …” these functions.
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- The bill modifies the “Powers and Duties” of the Director of CSOSA by removing USPC’s role and replacing it with “the District of Columbia.”
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- CSOSA SUPERVISED RELEASE – The bill states that CSOCA clients under supervised release “shall be subject to the authority of the District of Columbia.”
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- CSOSA PAROLE CONDITIONS OF RELEASE – The bill states that CSOSA “… shall carry out the conditions of release imposed by the District of Columbia and shall make such reports to the District of Columbia with respect to an individual on parole supervision as the District of Columbia may require.”
The section that covers USPC federal employees who may end up working for the District after this function is turned over to DC implies that the function will be handled by an agency of the District government:
- “… an employee of the office of the District of Columbia which exercises the authority described” herein.
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