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Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system

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Eddie Mingus

A lawsuit filed this week alleges the state Department of Corrections has been too lax in supervising roughly 18,000 paroled felons in Michigan.

The lawsuit was first reported by The Detroit Free Press.

It was filed by the family of an elderly Royal Oak woman who was murdered in her home. Two fugitives on parole have been charged with the killing.

Spokesman Russ Marlan says the department won’t comment specifically on the lawsuit. But he says the department has stepped up efforts in the past year to better track parolees and capture those who violate their parole rules.

“By embedding parole officers into police departments, hunting down fugitives – which both of these two individuals on this case had absconded from supervision – so we’ve targeted those folks, as well as trying to take a look at how our agents manage their caseloads,” he said.

Marlan says the department was recognized earlier this year for its progress in reducing repeat offenses by paroled felons.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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