Tuesday, March 18, 2008

State Auditor to Investigate Paroles

The Office of the State Auditor will investigate an increase in paroles granted to state penitentiary inmates and may release preliminary findings by June.

The Legislative Audit Committee requested the probe after eight Republicans signed a letter raising concerns about an increase of more than 100 inmates per month in early 2007 than had been paroled in a similar period in 2006.

The Department of Corrections says that about half of those granted early release in the period in 2007 under scrutiny left prison only two or three days before their terms ended. Department spokesperson Katherine Sanguinetti was quoted in a Denver Post article published March 14 as saying that the percentage of inmates granted discretionary parole, as opposed to mandatory parole, has not increased.

The Legislative Audit Committee has eight members, four from each party, and is chaired by Rep. James Kerr, R-Littleton.