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Officials Propose Changes To Parole System In Pennsylvania

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- How to reduce the prison population in Pennsylvania? State corrections officials say part of the answer lies in streamlining the process by which inmates are paroled.

It's just one of Governor Tom Corbett's budget-cutting proposals. Bring back a thousand inmates now housed in Virginia, and cut the number of inmates across Pennsylvania by 2,500.

But the union that represents prison guards suggests you can't get there without lowering parole standards. Probation and Parole Board Chairman Michael Potteiger disagrees.

While the rules for review won't change, if someone is approved…

"When the minimum date is up and they're effectively paroled, we streamline that process…they're removed from the Department of Corrections and transitioned into communities safely," Potteiger says.

It can now take two months or more after parole is granted for an inmate to actually walk out of a prison.

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