Some survivors of homicide victims want to toughen Ohio’s parole system to increase accountability and public scrutiny about convicts being put back on the streets, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The tougher standards will get their first test this week in the Ohio Senate. Cheryl Cole Candelaresi of Cincinnati, who is pushing for the bill, learned that the man who gunned down her husband was released from prison when she read the newspaper one 1994 morning.
The measure includes more extensive notification of pending paroles, holds the parole board accountable for release decisions, and mandates five years of parole supervision for the worst offenders. The bill is known as Roberta’s Law, named for a Columbus child whose killer was paroled without her family being told. Another supporter is Bret Vinocur, a victims’ advocate in Columbus who runs Find Missing Kids Inc. “If victims know about paroles and fight them, they have much better odds of that person being kept behind bars,” he said. “The victim needs a voice.” Parole board members are full-time state employees whose pay ranges from $61,651 to $80,829.