(a) In accordance with D.C. Code 24-404(a), the Commission shall be authorized to release a prisoner on parole in its discretion after the prisoner has served the minimum term of the sentence imposed, if the following criteria are met:
(1) The prisoner has substantially observed the rules of the institution;
(2) There is a reasonable probability that the prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the law; and
(3) In the opinion of the Commission, the prisoner's release is not incompatible with the welfare of society.
(b) It is the policy of the Commission with respect to District of Columbia Code offenders that the minimum term imposed by the sentencing court presumptively satisfies the need for punishment for the crime of which the prisoner has been convicted, and that the responsibility of the Commission is to account for the degree and the seriousness of the risk that the release of the prisoner would entail. This responsibility is carried out by reference to the Salient Factor Score and the Point Assignment Table at § 2.80. However, there may be exceptional cases in which the gravity of the offense is sufficient to warrant an upward departure from § 2.80 and denial of parole.