For indeterminate sentences the minimum sentence is set by the judge and the maximum sentence is set by statute. The Parole Board gains jurisdiction of a case when a prisoner has served the minimum sentence, less any good time or disciplinary credits the prisoner may have earned. Truth-In-Sentencing (TIS) legislation, which went into full effect in December of 2000, does not affect prisoners sentenced for crimes which took place before the TIS laws went into effect. Therefore, a substantial percentage of current prisoners are still entitled to either good time or disciplinary credits, depending on the date of the offense.
Prisoners serving life sentences ("lifers") are interviewed by the Board after they have served 10 years on their Life sentence. After that initial interview, the Board is required to review each lifer case at five-year intervals. Prisoners serving for first-degree murder may be released from prison only if they receive a pardon or a commutation from the Governor. The Parole Board has the discretionary authority to parole other lifers once they have served 10 or 15 years on their Life sentence (depending on the date of the offense) if the sentencing judge does not object.