Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1486 – Parolees, pilot program
SENATE BILL NO. 1486
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S1486................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
PAROLEES - Directs the Department of Correction to implement a pilot
program that transitions high-risk parolees into the community with support
for a limited time for basic necessities such as housing and food; and to
direct the Board of Correction to track persons who come back to the
prisons because of parole violations and issue a report to the legislature.
02/16 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/17 Rpt prt - to Jud
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session - 1998
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1486
BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO PAROLE; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE INTENT, DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF
3 CORRECTION AND THE BOARD OF CORRECTION TO ACCOMPLISH CERTAIN TASKS REGARD-
4 ING PAROLE AND TO REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE WITH RECOMMENDATIONS; AND
5 DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
6 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
7 SECTION 1. The Department of Correction is hereby authorized and directed
8 to implement a one year pilot program, on and after the effective date of this
9 act, that transitions high-risk parollees into the community with support for
10 a limited time for basic necessities including, but not limited to, housing
11 and food. The department shall also take steps to help the parolee find a
12 suitable job during his or her parole. Additionally the Board of Correction is
13 to track and identify the types of parole violations that return parolees to
14 prison and establish policies to reintegrate them back into the community
15 based on the type of violation that had been committed. The legislature would
16 like to emphasize that the role of the parole officer is one of assisting and
17 securing successful re-entry into society for the parolee, rather than one of
18 policing persons on parole for technical violations.
19 The Department of Correction and the Board of Correction is directed to
20 make a report to the First Regular Session of the Fifty-fifth Idaho Legisla-
21 ture detailing its efforts in complying with this act and providing sugges-
22 tions and proposed legislation, if any, to improve the parole system, to make
23 it more cost-effective while at the same time protecting public safety and
24 keeping offenders from recidiviating.
25 SECTION 2. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
26 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
27 passage and approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to reduce the recidivism rate of parolees who technically
violate parole or who violate parole by committing a new felony. This would be
accomplished through a variety of measure which would promote positive re-entry of an
inmate back into the community. Among the recommendations to the Department of
Correction and the Board of Correction are:
* To implement a one-year pilot program that would transition high-risk parolees into the
community with support for a limited time for basic necessities like housing and food.
Finding a suitable job would be the highest priority during this time.
* To track and identify the types of parole violations that return parolees to prison, and to
establish policies to reintegrate them back into the community within a reasonable
period of time. Currently, approximately 500 parole and probation violators return to
prison each year. They remain an average of 16 months at a cost to the state of
approximately $24,000 per violator ($12 million potentially for all 500 parole and
probation violators who return each year.)
*To assure that parole plans are fully prepared prior to the inmate's parole date. There
were about 80 parole continuances in 1997. Over half that were continued remained an
additional 7.5 to 9 months as a result of not having their parole plan fully prepared. This
cost the state an additional, avoidable $11,250 to $13,500 per inmate (or $562,500 to
$675,000 for 50 continuances).
* To emphasize that the role of the parole officer is to work towards successful reentry of
the parolee into society, rather than one of primarily policing. Over 20% of the total
number of people admitted to prison each year are parole violators. Keeping parolees
from violating parole saves the state $24,000 per parolee who returns to prison.
The cost of the first year of a Parole Transition Program would be $115,600. The annual
cost would then be $91,300. This fiscal impact is based upon a proposal by the
Department of Correction in its FY1999 budget request. This funding would sustain a
caseload of 15 inmates for the 180-day program. This would allow for 30 parolees to go
through the program in one year. High-risk parolees would receive financial assistance
during the first 60 days for housing and food, and for the remaining 120 days be given
assistance with finding employment, attending educational, employment preparedness,
and substance-abuse treatment programs. After the first 180 days of assisted supervision
the parolee would transfer to regular parole supervision. Without this pilot program, 30%,
or ten of these thirty parolees in the pilot program are expected to return to prison
because of parole violations. There would need to be a reduction in this number to
substantiate savings through this Parole Transition Program.
Senator Shiela Sorensen