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Summary of the Bollinger Decision
Effective January 19, 2000, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in Bollinger v. Board of Parole, that offenders who committed their crimes prior to September 20, 1985, may refuse parole and serve to the earned time date ("flat time") for the indeterminate sentence imposed by the court (pre-sentencing guidelines).
To be eligible to refuse parole, the offender must have committed his/her crime prior to September 20, 1985, and must have stated that he/she was refusing parole prior to being released from prison. An offender who committed his/her crime prior to September 20, 1985, was released from prison to parole and then returned to prison for a parole violation may refuse parole but must do so prior to re-release on parole.
This ruling does not apply to offenders who committed crimes after September 20, 1985, because on that date the Oregon legislature enacted a law saying that offenders cannot refuse parole (ORS 144.245(3)). If an offender committed his/her crime before and after September 20, 1985 (e.g., long-term sexual abuse), the offender cannot refuse parole.
Finally, the Bollinger case says that for offenders who committed their crimes between July 21, 1981 and September 20, 1985, the board shall order a period of six months supervision and the offender can be sanctioned up to 90 days. This six-month period of supervision must be ordered even though the offender refused parole. So, for some offenders, we will be allowing them to serve to their earned time date ("flat time") but also order six months supervision. For offenders who committed their crimes before July 21, 1981, there is no supervision if they refuse parole.
Procedures for Bollinger cases
If a DOC inmate committed his/her crimes before September 20, 1985, and wants to refuse parole, the inmate should send the board a letter saying they want to refuse parole. The board will then issue a BAF saying that the inmate´s release date has been changed to the earned time date and we will state whether there will be a six-month period of supervision upon release. If an inmate does not write to us before release and refuse parole, we assume they are not refusing parole and we will release them prior to their earned time date onto parole. It is up to the inmate to choose to refuse or not refuse parole. If an inmate tells a DOC employee they want to refuse parole, the DOC employee should tell the inmate to send a letter to the board and we will respond with a BAF.
Submitted by Diane M. Rea, Chair
Oregon Board of Parole & Post-Prison Supervision
(503) 945-0904