H1559: An Act to promote public safety by improving the parole process
H1559 is designed to make the parole process more predictable and transparent. The bill establishes a rebuttable presumption that prisoners should be released under parole supervision once eligible, while maintaining the Parole Board’s ultimate discretion in granting parole. In making its assessment, the Parole Board shall consider the applicant’s participation in available work programs, education, or treatment opportunities, as well as good behavior. In addition, H1559 calls for prisoners serving sentences of two or more years in state prison or a county correctional facility to be released on parole six months before they complete their sentences (again, subject to Parole Board rebuttal), with only those still serving the minimum term of their sentence exempted from this parole release process. H1559 would increase prisoner engagement in rehabilitative programming, increase prison safety, significantly reduce corrections costs by increasing parole permits, ensure objectivity and consistency in parole decisions, and assist prisoners in their transition from an institutional environment back to living in their communities.
(Filed in conjunction with Prisoners Legal Services)
- Wall Street Journal: “States Seek Prison Breaks – In Hunt for Savings, Officials Release Inmates While Boosting Probation and Parole”
- PDF- The Sentencing Project: The Science of Downsizing Prisons – What Works?
- PDF- The Justice Policy Institute: Pruning Prisons- How Cutting Corrections Can Save Money and Protect Public Safety