Act 821.1 (HB 1645) of the 1997 Regular Legislative Session (R.S. 15: 574.2.1) limits contact or communication, by all persons, with the Board of Parole or any of its members. The Act also added a comparable statute (R.S. 15:573.1), that applies to the Pardon Board. The public is encouraged to read this act and abide by its provisions inasmuch as compliance will foster public confidence in the integrity of the Board of Parole’s independent decision-making functions. See also: Parole Board Rules, Section 113.
R.S. 15: 574.2.1. Prohibited Contact with the Board of Parole; Penalties; Public Record
- Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 15:574.12, or any other provision of law to the contrary, no person shall contact or communicate with the Board of Parole or any of its members urging parole, or otherwise regarding any inmate except in the following ways:
- In an open hearing as provided in this Part.
- By written letter addressed to the Board of Parole.
- Any communication with the Board of Parole regarding an inmate as provided in Paragraph A(2) of this Section shall be deemed a public record and subject to public inspection as provided by the provisions of R.S. 44:1 et seq.
- Any member of the Board of Parole improperly contacted by an individual shall immediately notify the individual in writing accompanied by a copy of this Section of law that such contact is illegal and inappropriate, cease the inappropriate communication with the individual, and report the contact to the other board members.
- Any person who violates the provisions of this Section after being informed of the inappropriate contact as provided in Subsection C of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
- This Section does not apply to any letter written by, or on behalf of, any victim of a crime committed by the inmate eligible for parole, or any letter written in opposition to the inmate’s being placed on parole. The exception provided by this Subsection shall not apply to any elected or appointed public official.
- The Board of Parole shall adopt rules and regulations to provide for uniform notification procedures pursuant to Subsection C of this Section, and a method of documenting which persons have received such notification.