By Ethan DeWitt – Concord Monitor Staff
A rift over changes to New Hampshire’s parole system may be nearing a compromise after the state parole board and parole officers union agreed to collaborate on a bill affecting parole violators.
House Bill 143 – which would allow the parole board to reduce “setback” sentences for parole violators who seek drug and alcohol treatment – was presented by the board as a means to assist those with substance abuse. Currently, most people who violate parole must serve a 90-day incarceration sentence; the bill would allow the board to waive some or all of those 90 days if the violator successfully completes residential treatment.
But after the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and headed to the consent calendar, parole officers cried foul, calling the new powers a threat to public safety. Of particular concern was language in the newly amended bill that would extend the leniency to those on parole for sexual or violent crimes.
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