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Summary: Under current law, a parole panel is required to set a date to reconsider parole for an inmate whose parole has been rejected. Currently, a second and third degree felony relating to injury to a child is not included in the statute that prohibits an early parole consideration. HB 431 includes these felonies in the statute which disqualifies an inmate from early release on parole therefore preventing early reconsideration.
Analysis: Violent offenders convicted of doing harm to children should bear personal responsibility for their actions and serve out their full sentence. Allowing some violent offenders to be released early while others serve out their full sentence requires some offenders to be held to a higher level of responsibility than those who get an early release. As a policy matter, if lawmakers believe sentences are generally too long for these individuals, they should consider overhauling the sentencing structure which is a separate matter from this legislation. We encourage legislators to support HB 431.