TX: State caught in middle in medical parole debate

From the article: “Over the past year, Texas taxpayers have spent $6,000 a day on medical treatments for one prisoner who has run up a whopping $2 million bill…This prisoner has also become the poster person for advocates and legislators such as state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who are pushing for more prisoners to receive medical paroles. It’s a fiercely emotional issue pitting victims against criminals, with the state caught in the middle, balancing fiscal responsibility with justice and fairness.”

This article highlights the choices that the state must make in determining whether to release inmates with medical conditions that not only impose a high cost for taxpayers, but also likely impede the future commission of crime.  Read more here.

In Ohio, legislators attempted to somewhat deal with this issue by passing Ohio Revised Code Section 2967.05, “Release as if on parole of dying prisoner.”  The law was intended to allow the prison system to parole inmates who have been determined to be in imminent threat of death (generally within six months).  However, there were so many exclusions added on to the legislation that essentially no one could actually be released.

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