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Prosecutors appeal Parole Board decisions to release inmates

The Michigan Parole Board is releasing inmates at a faster pace than any time in the last two decades to save the state money.  Inmates are being released before serving their maximum sentence.  However, prosecutors are appealing the decisions of the parole boards some people locked up instead of in the community.   

Macomb and Oakland County prosecutor's offices have created Parole Appeals units to handle the appeals.  Oakland County Prosecutor, Jessica Cooper, said these appeals are very hard cases to proceed with and very time-consuming.  Often circuit court judges will side with the parole board decisions.  

Department of Corrections officials say prosecutors exaggerate the dangers of early releases for easy political points.  However, Macomb County prosecutor, Eric Smith, says "When you release these career criminals back onto the street, they pick up right where they left off."

 Both Cooper and Smith say that the parole board often releases inmates with long rap sheets and a propensity to break the law again.  "The citizens are left to clean up the mess," Smith said.

 Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says that the parole board would not approve a dangerous inmate for release if they thought they would be a danger to society.  "This is a very tremendous responsibility, and they don't take it lightly.  They live in our communities, too."

Of the 13,000 inmates granted parole last year, less than 30 cases have been appealed.  However Marlan expects the number to double this year.

3 Comments

it is sad these prisoner do not get a chance at life without bars. How can people judge everybody? Some people is first time offenders like my son and he has to be judged with everyone. What a county and court system we have. I feel sorry for the prosecutors because they have a lot of blood on their hands. I pray for this so call court system

Patricia I agree. These people are human just like you and I all be it they may have more problem or different problems they have done their time. Who are we to judge. This is exactly the kind of attitude that gives parolees a bad rap. I have been witness to many success stories. Although we must never forget crime is big business and words like these are often just to increase business and revenue.

I understand that prison is big business, both for state and private interests. However, I don't understand how or who authorizes the parole board to override the judges sentences in cases where the prospective parolee has never been in trouble in prison and has served the time ordered by the judge. In prison it is called "flopping" when one is given one another year arbitrarily. Is that really legal? Has anyone challenged this in court?

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