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High Court Rules on Parole Issue

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling that requires Board of Probation and Parole to enumerate reasons for not providing time credit to convicted parole violator

Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

It used to be that a convicted parole violator ("CPV") serving time on liberty (aka "street time") lost any and all street time if convicted on a new offense. However, the parole statute was changed on July 5, 2012 to provide that "the board may, in its discretion, award credit to a parolee recommitted...for time spent on liberty on parole."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pittman v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, ___ Pa. ___, ___ A.3d ___, 2017 WL 1489047 (April 26, 2017) recently held that the board has discretion to award credit to a CPV for time spent on liberty AND that the board must articulate a basis for its decision to grant or deny CPV credit.  The board may not simply check "NO" when determining whether time credit should be applied to a CPV, but must provide a contemporaneous statement of its reasons for the denial.

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