A group of former Michigan corrections officials have called on the state to reform the parole review process for prisoners serving life sentences, reports Michigan Live. The group, which includes 27 former corrections officials and one current warden, said the system has unfairly changed over the years to prevent low-risk, rehabilitated parole-eligible prisoners from earning their freedom. Relatively few prisoners who are serving life sentences and are eligible for parole end up getting released.
All prisoners “should have a fair and equitable opportunity to make a case to the parole board,” said Gary Gabry, who served as parole board chairman in the 1990s and is now a defense attorney. An advocacy group, the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending, released two reports on the issue Wednesday along with the statement from the former corrections officials. It estimates there are about 850 parole-eligible prisoners serving non-drug-related life sentences.