State Parole Agency Has New Name

Monday, July 02, 2012 | 11:58am

Nashville -- The agency that oversees parole processes in Tennessee is now operating under a new name. On Sunday, July 1, the Board of Probation and Parole became the Board of Parole (BOP), as community supervision of adult offenders transferred to the Department of Correction (TDOC). The change is included in the public safety plan approved by the legislature during the 2012 session. As part of the transfer, state Probation & Parole Officers and other staff who support their work are now employees of TDOC.

Board Chairman Charles Traughber said, “We’re committed to using best practices in all of our operations. Studies show offenders have more positive outcomes if they are supervised by the same agency from incarceration through completion of supervision in the community. Therefore, we support the transfer of community supervision to TDOC.”

The Board of Parole remains an autonomous state agency. Functions that stay with the Board include:

  • Conducting hearings and making decisions on granting or denying parole, including the establishment of conditions and release;
  • Conducting hearings and making decisions on the revocation or rescission of parole;
  • Providing information about the parole process to survivors of crime and their families and
  • Reviewing requests for executive clemency applications and making non-binding recommendations to the Governor.

Executive Director Pat Merritt said, “As an agency, the Board of Parole is committed to the concept that more can be accomplished when agencies with related functions cooperate to maximize their resources. We will continue to work with DOC and our other partners in criminal justice toward the same goals: safer communities, safer prisons, more successful offenders and fewer victims.”

The Board of Parole is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor.