In making a parole or reparole determination the Commission shall consider, if available and relevant:
Reports and recommendations which the staff of the facility in which such prisoner is confined may make;
Official reports of the prisoner's prior criminal record, including a report or record of earlier probation and parole experiences;
Pre-sentence investigation reports;
Recommendations regarding the prisoner's parole made at the time of sentencing by the sentencing judge and prosecuting attorney;
Reports of physical, mental, or psychiatric examination of the offender; and
A statement, which may be presented orally or otherwise, by any victim of the offense for which the prisoner is imprisoned about the financial, social, psychological, and emotional harm done to, or loss suffered by such victim.
There shall also be taken into consideration such additional relevant information concerning the prisoner (including information submitted by the prisoner) as may be reasonably available (18 U.S.C. 4207 ). The Commission encourages the submission of relevant information concerning an eligible prisoner by interested persons.
To permit adequate review of information concerning the prisoner, materials submitted to the Commission should be received by the Commission no later than the first day of the month preceding the month of the scheduled hearing docket.
If material of more than six (6), double-spaced, letter-sized pages is first submitted at the time of the hearing (or preliminary interview) and the hearing panel (or person conducting the hearing or preliminary interview) concludes that it is not feasible to read all the material at that time, the person submitting the material will be permitted to summarize it briefly at the hearing (or preliminary interview). All of the material submitted will become part of the record to be considered by the Commission in its review of the proceedings.
The Commission will normally consider only verbal and written evidence at hearings. Recorded audio and visual material will be reviewed at hearings only if there is no adequate substitute to permit a finding under paragraph (c) of this section. Otherwise, recorded audio and visual material should be submitted prior to the hearing for review and summarization, pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
The Commission may take into account any substantial information available to it in establishing the prisoner's offense severity rating, salient factor score, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances, provided the prisoner is apprised of the information and afforded an opportunity to respond. If the prisoner disputes the accuracy of the information presented, the Commission shall resolve such dispute by the preponderance of the evidence standard; that is, the Commission shall rely upon such information only to the extent that it represents the explanation of the facts that best accords with reason and probability. If the Commission is given evidence of criminal behavior that has been the subject of an acquittal in a federal, state, or local court, the Commission may consider that evidence if:
The Commission finds that it cannot adequately determine the prisoner's suitability for release on parole, or to remain on parole, unless the evidence is taken into account;
The Commission is satisfied that the record before it is adequate notwithstanding the acquittal;
The prisoner has been given the opportunity to respond to the evidence before the Commission; and
The evidence before the Commission meets the preponderance standard.
In any other case, the Commission shall defer to the trial jury. Offense behavior in Category 5 or above shall presumptively support a finding under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
Recommendations and information from sentencing judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and other interested parties are welcomed by the Commission. In evaluating a recommendation concerning parole, the Commission must consider the degree to which such recommendation provides the Commission with specific facts and reasoning relevant to the statutory criteria for parole (18 U.S.C. 4206) and the application of the Commission's guidelines (including reasons for departure therefrom). Thus, to be most helpful, a recommendation should state its underlying factual basis and reasoning. However, no recommendation (including a prosecutorial recommendation pursuant to a plea agreement) may be considered as binding upon the Commission's discretionary authority to grant or deny parole.
[42 FR 39809, Aug. 5, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 26550, May 4, 1979; 44 FR 27658, May 11, 1979; 44 FR 31638, June 1, 1979; 49 FR 34207, Aug. 29, 1984; 49 FR 44098, Nov. 2, 1984; 50 FR 36423, Sept. 6, 1985; 51 FR 7064, Feb. 28, 1986; 56 FR 16270, Apr. 22, 1991; 56 FR 30868, July 8, 1991; 58 FR 16612, Mar. 30, 1993]