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The State Penitentiary’s Board of Trustees dates back to 1891 to 1909 and was empowered to act as a parole board with the with the Governor serving as ex-officio president (S. L. 1891, Ch.92).  A Board of Experts was established in 1909 to handle parole cases for the State Penitentiary (S. L. 1901, Ch. 175). From 1909 to 1915, the Board of Experts consisted of the Warden, prison physician, prison chaplain, and one person selected by the Board of Trustees of the State Penitentiary. In 1915, the membership of the Board of Experts was expanded to include a member of the Board of Control and a member selected by the Board of Control. The Board of Pardons assumed the parole duties of the Board of Experts in 1923 (S. L. 1923, Ch. 26). 

The State Parole Board was established in 1963 (S. L. 1963, Ch. 124) and consisted of three gubernatorial appointees serving staggered three-year terms. The three ex-officio members of the Board of Pardons (Governor, Attorney General, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and the State Parole Board jointly appointed a person to serve as the clerk for the State Parole Board and Board of Pardons. The primary function of the Board was to consider State Penitentiary inmate applications for parole, work, or educational release, and supervision of probationers and parolees. 

Since the creation of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a change to the State Parole Board addresses the qualifications of potential board member candidates. In 1999 (S. L.1999, Ch.117) the State Parole Board consisted of six members, who were qualified electors of the state, appointed by the Governor to serve three-year terms. One member must be experienced in law enforcement which may include serving as a prosecuting attorney, another must be a licensed attorney, with the remaining members qualified by special experience, education or training. 

In 1997 (S. L. 1997, Ch.115) the Pardon Advisory Board was created. The Pardon Advisory Board makes recommendations to the governor concerning any matters involving pardons or commutations of sentence. The Board includes the Attorney General , two members of the Parole Board, and two members appointed by the Governor. The Governor may dissolve the Pardon Advisory Board at any time.


1909-1923    Board of Experts established to handle parole cases.

1923-1963    Board of Pardons manages parole cases.

1943        Creation of State Farm.

1963        Creation of State Parole Board.

1989        Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation created to oversee the programs  of the Division of Adult Services, State Correction Centers, Parole Board,  Community Services, and Victims Reparation Act. Director appointed by  the Governor.

1991        State Farm renamed Missouri River Correction Center.

1997        Creation of James Valley Correctional Center at Jamestown.

1999-2001   Division of Field Service created to supervise the placement of all adult offenders. Division of Parole and Probation renamed Parole Board and Pardon Advisory Board.

2009        The Board is the sole authority for all parole related decisions in North Dakota. Amended laws related to the powers and duties of the Parole Board, the powers and duties of the Pardon Advisory Board, and the preparation and filing of transcripts in criminal action (S. L. 2009, Ch. 120).  A new section added to the Code related to the authority of the Parole Board use of the twenty-four seven sobriety program as an intermediate sanction or condition of parole for the issuing of temporary restrictive driving permits.  A statewide sobriety program was to be established by the Attorney General. Legislation also amended sections on the supervision of probationers (S. L. 2009, Ch. 469).

2011        The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Division of Adult Services staff serve as clerk and provide administrative support for the six- member Board. A new subsection added laws concerning probation and parole officers and added to the powers and duties of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (S. L. 2011, Ch. 405).

2013        Laws were amended concerning regulations regarding parole (S. L. 2013, Ch. 100) and new and amended sections to the Century Code related to reviews and petitions for discharge during periods of imprisonment.  Laws also related to filing reports on the fitness of a defendant to continue with the criminal proceedings as charged (S. L. 2013, Ch. 225).  Other amended laws related to supervision of defendants for domestic violence offences (S.L. 2013, Ch. 111) and concerned the supervision of probationers (S. L. 2013, Ch. 112). Legislation also addressed the statewide automated victim information identification system (S.L. 2013, Ch. 114).


Board of Pardons

30365  Calendar of Applications before the State Board of Pardons [RESTRICTED]
30943  Case Record of Board of Pardons Actions on Pardon Applications
31804 Parole and Probation Calendars, minutes, and meeting packets [RESTRICTED]

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