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State and Federal SRA Parole Systems Similar

I find the articles in PLN dealing with Washington state's dual sentencing procedure interesting and thought provoking because the federal system is going through something worse. There are at least four sentencing procedures going on here. The oldest is for those prisoners sentenced under the Board of Paroles Act, which was repealed in 1976. Parole under that Act is supposed to be based, in part, on rehabilitation. The Parole Commission Act, which replaced the Board of Paroles, follows a discretionary system of guidelines. The latest system is the federal SRA, where prisoners (defendants) are sentenced by the court as Washington state SRA defendants are sentenced. But in the federal system, old law prisoners get none of the benefits of the new law nor are we given any non-discretionary dates.

The fourth class of convict is the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) prisoners. They haven't committed any crimes in the U.S. Their "paroles" are more iffy than that of U.S. prisoners.

The U.S. Parole Commission was supposed to be abolished in 1987, but they got a five year extension until November of 1992. Another five year extension was granted recently so they'll be in business until 1997.

Complaints of the old-law prisoners in the federal system parallel those of the old-law prisoners in Washington state.

M.C., Leavenworth, KS

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