State division change would be better for inmates, Nev. parole board leader says
Connie Bisbee, head of Nevada’s Parole Board, told lawmakers Wednesday that moving the Parole portion of the Parole and Probation Division to the Department of Corrections should actually be beneficial.Lawmakers were skeptical of that proposal when Corrections Director Greg Cox presented it a week ago.The Parole Board, which is separate from the P&P Division, hears inmates’ cases and decides whether they should be released. Bisbee told a study committee that moving Parole to Corrections really shouldn’t affect her operation.“I’m supportive of the governor’s initiative,” she said. “We need a system that is a single, client-friendly system so we don’t have breakdowns or different processes of doing things.”With everything within Corrections, Bisbee said, an inmate would be managed by the same people from entry into prison, to developing a parole program, to eventual release back into society.“If one system is treating the person, it makes it easier to coordinate services,” she said. “From the moment you enter the criminal justice system, we know who you are, know where you are and what you need.”Now, when inmates leave Corrections, they are turned over to P&P, a different agency.The study committee chairman, Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, questioned what good the change would make. He pointed out Bisbee had told him that, from the board’s perspective, “we are certainly doing what we need to be doing.”“The answer to the impact question is, there is no impact,” he said. “But you’re thinking negative impact. I’m thinking there’s no positive impact.”Committee members made clear a week ago they don’t like the idea of moving Parole to Corrections because they don’t see any benefit.Cox told them essentially the same thing Bisbee did, that the change would unify handling of inmates’ needs all the way through the system.