The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted down a bill that would have required the state Parole Board to issue a “detailed finding of fact” to every prisoner who is denied parole.
Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, said she had heard from numerous inmates who said they were given no reason for the denial of their parole, even though the law requires the board to send such an explanation. Elliott’s bill, Senate Bill 313, attempted to ensure that those explanations be detailed.
The chairman of the Parole Board, John Felts, said the board does not have the staff or time to handle such detailed reports for all the inmates who are denied parole.
He said Elliott’s bill “misses the mark” and was unlikely to solve the problem she was trying to address.
The committee voted down SB313 in a voice vote.
In 2018, the Parole Board averaged about 163 denials each month, according to agency statistics. The board granted about 733 people parole each month.
— John Moritz