CONCORD, N.H. — A spokesman for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is defending the state’s new mandatory parole law after the Adult Parole Board grudgingly granted parole this week to four child predators and four violent criminals.
“Corrections is responsible for developing a policy for strict supervision. When these people walk out the prison door, that policy will be in place,” said Colin Manning, the governor’s spokesman. He said parole for the eight will not be next week, but later down the road.
“This change is a good thing for New Hampshire because it’s going to make New Hampshire safer,” Manning told New Hampshire’s Union Leader. The law, which received widespread legislative support this spring, aims to reduce recidivism and costs in the prison system.
The prison estimates it will be able to reduce the inmate population by 500 to 600 and save $7 million a year by freeing inmates under “intensive supervision” during the final nine months of their maximum sentence. The new law also states that non-violent offenders will be released once they have met 120 percent of their minimum sentence.
Last week, the state Adult Parole Board agreed to the paroles under a cost-saving measure that requires some offenders to be released nine months before their maximum term ends. One member said he found it “disgusting” that he had to follow the law.
Meanwhile, prison officials told the Union Leader they will eliminate a six-month sex-offender program within the prison and make it part of community treatment.