Code of the District of Columbia

§ 24–404. Authorization of parole; custody; discharge.

(a) Whenever it shall appear to the United States Parole Commission (“Commission”) that there is a reasonable probability that a prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, that his or her release is not incompatible with the welfare of society, and that he or she has served the minimum sentence imposed or the prescribed portion of his or her sentence, as the case may be, the Commission may authorize his or her release on parole upon such terms and conditions as the Commission shall from time to time prescribe. While on parole, a parolee shall remain in the legal custody and under the control of the Attorney General of the United States or his or her authorized representative until:

(1) The expiration of the maximum of the term or terms specified in his or her sentence without regard to good time allowance; or

(2) The Commission terminates legal custody over such parolee under subsection (a-1) of this section.

(a-1)(1) Upon its own motion or upon request of a parolee, the Commission may terminate legal custody over the parolee before expiration of the parolee’s sentence.

(2) Two years after a parolee’s release on parole, and at least annually thereafter, the Commission shall review that parolee’s status to determine the need for continued legal custody and may terminate legal custody over the parolee if, in its discretion, the Commission determines that continued legal custody is no longer needed.

(3) Five years after a parolee’s release on parole, the Commission shall terminate legal custody over the parolee unless the Commission determines, after a hearing, that legal custody of the parolee should not be terminated because there is a likelihood that the parolee will violate any criminal law.

(4) If the Commission does not terminate legal custody under paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Commission:

(A) May conduct a hearing annually, if the parolee so requests, to determine whether to terminate legal custody of the parolee; and

(B) Shall conduct a hearing every 2 years to determine whether to terminate legal custody of the parolee.

(5) In calculating a time period under this subsection, the Commission shall exclude:

(A) Any period of release on parole before the most recent such release; and

(B) Any period served in confinement on any other sentence.

(a-2)(1) The provisions of subsection (a-1) of this section shall apply to a person who is on parole on or after May 20, 2009.

(2) For a person released on parole prior to May 20, 2009, determinations by the Commission whether to terminate legal custody under subsection (a-1)(2) or (3) of this section, as applicable, shall be made within one year after May 20, 2009.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a), (a-1), and (a-2) of this section, the Council of the District of Columbia may promulgate rules and regulations under which the Commission, in its discretion, may discharge a parolee from supervision prior to the expiration of the maximum term or terms for which he was sentenced.


(July 15, 1932, 47 Stat. 697, ch. 492, § 4; June 6, 1940, 54 Stat. 242, ch. 254, § 3; July 17, 1947, 61 Stat. 378, ch. 263, § 3; May 22, 1965, 79 Stat. 113, Pub. L. 89-24, § 1; May 20, 2009, D.C. Law 17-389, § 3(a), 56 DCR 1196.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 24-204.

1973 Ed., § 24-204.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-113.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-389 rewrote subsec. (a); added subsecs. (a-1) and (a-2); and, in subsec. (b), substituted “subsections (a), (a-1), and (a-2)” for “subsection (a)” and substituted “Commission” for “Board of Parole”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) Whenever it shall appear to the Board of Parole that there is a reasonable probability that a prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, that his release is not incompatible with the welfare of society, and that he has served the minimum sentence imposed or the prescribed portion of his sentence, as the case may be, the Board may authorize his release on parole upon such terms and conditions as the Board shall from time to time prescribe. While on parole, a prisoner shall remain in the legal custody and under the control of the Attorney General of the United States or his authorized representative until the expiration of the maximum of the term or terms specified in his sentence without regard to good time allowance.”

Cross References

Notice to chief of police of prisoner release, see § 5-113.05.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(210) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.