When are inmates eligible? Which inmates are eligible for parole? Who is not eligible for parole?

Inmates in Georgia do have the right to be considered for parole, but they do not have a “liberty interest” that necessitates their release on parole. After serving one-third of their prison sentence, all statutorily eligible parole-eligible offenders become legally entitled to a parole hearing.

Unless required by Georgia law, offenders incarcerated in state prisons are considered for parole automatically. Inmates who were convicted of a “serious violent felony” committed on or after January 1, 1995, and were sentenced to a non-life term are not eligible for parole and must serve the full prison sentence ordered by the court. The “serious violent felonies” are murder, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, armed robbery, and kidnapping.

Not qualified are those who have been sentenced as a recidivist (found guilty of a fourth felony), have received life imprisonment without possibility of parole, or have been sentenced to die. All other inmates in state custody are subject to the possibility of release at least once during their sentence, according to state law.

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