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November 8, 2007

Paroling the elderly

This morning's New York Times has this interesting article about New York's decision to parole the state's oldest inmate.  Here is how it starts:

A panel of the State Parole Board voted 2 to 1 yesterday to release Charles E. Friedgood, a wealthy Long Island surgeon who was convicted in 1976 of murdering his ailing wife and who is now, at 89, the oldest state prison inmate in New York. He is expected to be freed in mid-December and admitted to a veterans’ hospital.

Reversing a ruling announced on Oct. 10 by a panel of three other parole commissioners, the majority concluded yesterday, “There is reasonable probability that, if released, this inmate will live and remain at liberty without violating the law.”

November 8, 2007 at 09:17 AM | Permalink


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I had a brainstorm about parole. What if we give parole boards a financial interest in whether or not the people they release re-offend? Give them a bonus for each person they parole who does not, and a penalty, depending on the severity of the offense(s), for each person they release who does.

Posted by: William Jockusch | Nov 8, 2007 6:14:40 PM

I like it. The bonus could be funded with the savings from not having to keep imprisoned the parolee. I think it costs close to $50/day to keep someone imprisoned, so paying, say, $2/day to the board for a law-abiding release is still a great savings for the state.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 8, 2007 10:47:53 PM

I think that's a fabulous idea. It would give parole officers an interest in actually helping parolees succeed instead of just pouncing on them when they make a mistake.

Posted by: disillusioned layman | Nov 9, 2007 8:57:06 AM

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