CHAPTER 168

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 209

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PAROLE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §4350, Title 11, Delaware Code by striking the existing subsections (a) and (b) in their entirety, by redesignating subsection (c) thereof as (e), and by inserting the following:

"(a) The Board shall adopt rules for hearing oral statements or arguments by persons not connected with the Department of Correction when hearing applications for parole. In developing those rules, the Board shall reserve for itself the right to:

(1) limit the length of each statement;

(1) restrict the number of individuals allowed to attend parole hearings in accordance with physical limitations or security requirements of the hearing facilities; and

(2) deny admission or continued attendance to individuals who threaten or present a danger to the attendees or participants or who disrupt the hearing.

The Board shall also accept written statements.

(b) The Board may take formal action to close their proceedings upon a majority vote of members present for the following reasons:

(1) to protect ongoing law enforcement investigations, upon written request of the attorney general or law enforcement agency;

(2) to deliberate upon oral or written arguments received;

(3) to provide opportunity for applicants to challenge confidential information which they believe is detrimental to their applications; or

(4) at the request of the victim or, in the case of first-degree murder, the immediate family of the victim.

(c) The Department of Correction may appear personally before the Board to advise and be heard by the Board with respect to any application for parole being considered.

(d) When the Board is hearing an application for parole made by an offender, the victim or immediate family of the victim of such crime or their duly appointed representatives may make oral statements or arguments before the Board with respect to the application for parole being considered. Victims or their representatives shall have priority in making statements before the Board."

Section 2. Amend §4347, Title 11, Delaware Code by adding new subsections as follows:

"(k) Notification of Parole Eligibility.

(1) At least 30 days prior to a scheduled parole hearing for an inmate convicted of a felony offense, the Board shall notify the victim or the immediate family of the victim of the date, time, and place of the scheduled hearing. A copy of any rules developed pursuant to §4350(a) of this Chapter shall be included with the notice. However, at any time, the victim or the victim's immediate family can request that no notification be sent.

(2) At least 30 days prior to a scheduled parole hearing for an inmate convicted of a felony offense, the Board shall send a notice of the date, time and place of the scheduled hearing to the attorney general.

(3) At least 30 days prior to a scheduled parole hearing for an inmate convicted of a felony offense, the Board shall cause notice of the date, time and place of the scheduled hearing to be published in a newspaper with an average daily statewide circulation of at least 15,000 copies, of which at least 5,000 copies shall be in the county in which the offense occurred.

(I) Notification of Parole Decision.

(1) At the same time as the Board sends notice of its decision to the inmate, the Board shall send notice of its decision to those who received notice under paragraphs (k)(1) and/or (2) of this section.

(2) No later than 10 days after a parole hearing resulting in parole of an applicant, the Board shall cause notice of its decision to be published in the same newspaper in which the notice of the hearing was published.

(n) Prior to a parole hearing, a party to whom the Board failed to notify as required in paragraphs (kX1) or (2) of this section may request that the Board postpone the scheduled hearing in order to provide a reasonable opportunity for the party to attend the hearing, and/or submit a written statement. However, in no event shall the hearing be postponed more than 45 days from the original scheduled date.

(n) Any notice required to be provided to the victim or to the victim's immediate family shall be mailed to the last known address of the victim or family member. It is the responsibility of the victim or the victim's immediate family to provide the Board with a current mailing address."

Approved July 7, 1995