Inside Information

Prison reformers decry the state parole board's approach toward potential parolees.

"A lot of people are qualified to sit on a jury and hold someone's life in their hands. Then why aren't they qualified to sit on a parole board?"

One of the new appointees begs to differ. Haney, the former Denver cop, says having a background in corrections, law enforcement or the courts doesn't mean that a boardmember cannot be fair. "I think their concerns are unfounded," he says of Izor and Tramutola-Lawson. "Our overriding concern is the public welfare and the risk the person potentially poses to the community. We have to balance the rights of the general populace against the rights of an inmate for the privilege of being allowed on parole." And, he stresses, parole is a privilege, not a right.

If Tramutola-Lawson and Izor prove unable to sway this week's slate, they might have another chance--the Senate Appropriations Committee is reviewing a bill that would add four new part-time spots to the parole board.

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