(a) The board shall:
(1) develop according to an acceptable research method the parole guidelines that are the basic criteria on which a parole decision is made;
(2) base the guidelines on the seriousness of the offense and the likelihood of a favorable parole outcome;
(3) ensure that the guidelines require consideration of an inmate's progress in any programs in which the inmate participated during the inmate's term of confinement;
(4) establish and maintain a range of recommended parole approval rates for each category or score within the guidelines; and
(5) implement the guidelines.
(b) The board shall meet annually to review and discuss the parole guidelines and range of recommended parole approval rates. The board may consult outside experts to assist with the review. The board shall prioritize the use of outside experts, technical assistance, and training in taking any action under Subsection (c). The board must consider:
(1) how the parole guidelines and range of recommended parole approval rates serve the needs of parole decision-making; and
(2) the extent to which the parole guidelines and range of recommended parole approval rates reflect parole panel decisions and predict successful parole outcomes.
(c) Based on the board's review under Subsection (b), the board may:
(1) update the guidelines by:
(A) including new risk factors; or
(B) changing the values of offense severity or risk factor scores; or
(2) modify the range of recommended parole approval rates under the guidelines, if parole approval rates differ significantly from the range of recommended parole approval rates.
(d) The board is not required to hold an open meeting to review the parole guidelines and range of recommended parole approval rates as required by Subsection (b), but any modifications or updates to the guidelines or range of recommended parole approval rates made by the board under Subsection (c) must occur in an open meeting.
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