Rumors related to reduced mandatory time circulate among the prison population very often, and this is one of them. We often hear from inmates or their friends and families asking about a new law that reduces the amount of time they must serve before they are eligible for parole, but the library has not been able to identify any such laws. Section 508.145 of the Government Code sets out an inmate's eligibility for parole. It is important to read that law to understand parole eligibility. Along with the other provisions and exceptions, see subsection 508.145(d)(2), which states:
(2) An inmate described by Subdivision (1) is not eligible for release on parole until the inmate's actual calendar time served, without consideration of good conduct time, equals one-half of the sentence or 30 calendar years, whichever is less, but in no event is the inmate eligible for release on parole in less than two calendar years.
The offenses subject to those provisions are sometimes referred to as “3g” aggravated offenses because in previous, older versions of the law, these offenses were listed in Section 3g of what used to be Article 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The code has since been re-organized and much of the contents of former Article 42.12 can now be found in Chapter 42A, Community Supervision.
It is also important to note that laws related to parole eligibility have changed over the years. Current law may not be what determines an inmate's eligibility. You may need to research what the law said in the past to determine eligibility. For accurate information and answers to common questions related to parole and parole eligibility, including a timeline showing how the laws have changed over the years, see the publication Parole in Texas from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The current version of the parole and mandatory supervision statutes are available online: Chapter 508 of the Government Code, Parole and Mandatory Supervision. Section 508.145 and Section 508.149 discuss eligibility. You can also see any version of these statutes from early 2004 to the present by using the Statutes by Date feature. If you need to locate the parole and mandatory supervision laws for a date prior to January 11th, 2004, our fee-based document delivery service can provide copies of the law either in print or electronically.