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    Michigan returned 62 sex offenders to prison who were mistakenly released between June 22nd and June 24th. This mistake was caused by a glitch in how psychologists determined the prisoners' treatment plans. The parolees were found immediately with help of a GPS tether system they had to wear. Some of the prisoners were released after being picked up when it was decidedly safe to do so, but most were kept incarcerated.

    A new program was put into action June 1st that is at the center of this incident. A new questionnaire was given to parolees designed to determine their needed level of treatment. Two psychologists hired by the State were then supposed assess these questionnaires and categorize each parolee as either: outpatient, inpatient, or detention. If given the label of outpatient or inpatient, it meant the prisoners would be paroled while given treatment and living in a monitored setting. If given the 3rd and final label of detention, it meant they would not receive parole at that time. The two psychologists created a fourth category for prisoners they felt they had insufficient data on and couldn't place into one of the three categories. The 62 prisoners that were released came from this fourth undetermined category.

    Recently the government has worked to reduce the prison population in order to save money by releasing low-risk offenders earlier than they may otherwise have been. They are only released after their minimum sentences are served. Because of this, the department of corrections finds themselves defending their decisions. In order to make sure this mistake doesn't happen again, some think the Governor needs to step in and stop letting early parolees out of prison. In order to correct this problem, the Governor demanded the department of corrections to immediately establish safeguards to prevent an incident like this from happening again.

    .

    The issue was corrected, but other problems arose from this undeniable mistake. A mother was upset when finding out her son, after being released, had to return to prison in just a couple days.

    The changes in the way the State determines who gets released and how early were made because past decisions were made based on the original crime, and not true, up to date data. The department of corrections now uses a risk assessment scale to evaluate sex offenders in order to release more prisoners who have served their minimum sentence and no longer need to be incarcerated by the State.

     

    Sources:

     

    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/michigan_returns_to_prison_62.html

    http://detnews.com/article/20090702/METRO/907020407/Sex-offenders-released-by-mistake
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