Michigan prosecutors now will know when prisoners are set to be paroled in their counties, reports the Detroit Free Press. A law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder this week requires that prosecutors receive written notice within 10 days of the parole board’s decision to release a prisoner. The notice must be sent to prosecutors where the crime occurred and where the offender will be released.
Although county sheriffs are notified routinely, prosecutors have complained in recent years that it’s difficult to get information about upcoming parole hearings or prisoner release dates. Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper sued the Michigan Department of Corrections over the issue last year. Cooper praised the law as a “baby step in the right direction,” but said additional legislation is needed to give prosecutors a 48-day notice — time enough to file an appeal with the courts if they object to the parole. “It would give us a chance to look at the case, pull our files together,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt to have a second pair of eyes on these cases, or even a third or fourth. Mistakes get made.”