LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Under a new bill signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder, county prosecutors must be notified when prison inmates are released.
Although local sheriffs already receive such notification, prosecutors haven’t always learned in advance about upcoming parole hearings or prisoner release dates.
That led prosecutors to sue the state in 2009 for a list of potential parolees. They were upset with the attempts of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration to release eligible parolees on an accelerated schedule in an effort to reduce the state’s prison population.
Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper spearheaded the effort to sue for the information because she said her office was repeatedly denied information about planned interviews of parole candidates in sufficient time to appeal certain cases.
Under the new law, prosecutors will receive written notice that an inmate is going to be paroled within 10 days of the parole board’s decision. The notification must go to prosecutors in the area where the prisoner committed the crime and in the area where the prisoner will be released.
“This is an important change that will better protect our communities and give crime victims peace of mind,” Snyder said in a release.
The governor signed the bill Tuesday, but his office didn’t release the information until Thursday.
The bill passed with bipartisan support.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.