Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Michigan Paroles Record Number of Violent, Sex Offenders in 2008

Convicted violent offenders in Michigan were granted parole in the largest numbers in last year since 1999, while the number of sex offenders given parole was the largest since 1996. Are we at more risk?
Parole Approval Rates 190318 7
A January report to state legislators from Patricia L. Caruso, director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, notes that “There were a record high number of moves to parole in calendar year 2007, due to a record high number of parole decisions.
Moves to parole in 2008 decreased from that record high because of fewer parole decisions, but 2008 was still the third highest year for moves to parole in history because of an increase in the parole approval rate. The approval rate climbed from 52.5% in 2007 to 58.0% in 2008, which is the highest parole approval rate since 1993.“
It all sounds good – the rehab is working, according to Caruso. Perhaps more states should adopt our model. But remember that the dictate went out a while ago for prisons to reduce populations. And those calls have always stipulated that those being released are non-violent offenders, and in some cases, convicted drug scofflaws.
But parole approval rates for drug offenders and non-violent criminals last year were about the same as previous years. Instead, we are paroling more hard-core criminals. It all sounds nice to say that those hitting the streets are not a danger to us. But the truth is not so nice. Has anyone posed this question to lawmakers?

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