I will attend this meeting today and report back on the findings
Lawmakers expect to learn today the reasons behind the 40 percent jump in the number of discretionary paroles granted in Colorado in recent years.
Eight Republicans in mid-March requested an audit of the Parole Board's practices after they learned that about 115 more inmates per month left prison early in 2007 than the previous year.
The Legislative Audit Committee is scheduled to receive that report this afternoon.
Corrections officials last spring attributed the increase to the additional money spent to reduce recidivism and a policy change that ended weekend paroles. When prisoners are set free a few days before their official parole date to accommodate transportation needs, the state records the release as discretionary.
Those answers never satisfied state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, who was among those requesting the audit.
The rise in early paroles began in the last year of former Gov. Bill Owens' administration and grew under Gov. Bill Ritter, who staffed the state board with Democratic appointments.
"It would be a spectacular coincidence to have nearly a doubling in the number of prison releases in two short years that coincide with the change in administration," Penry said Sunday. "The question is: Have we changed prison-release policies in order to save a few dollars on costs?"
Ritter's office told The Associated Press that lawmakers out to uncover a parole conspiracy will be disappointed when the report goes public.
The Denver Post