Parole Board Member Says Parole Officers Play Too Large a Role

AUGUST 2, 2006 - Posted at 4:56 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state Parole Board member says parole officers in some cases have vetoed the final decision on whether a prison inmate will be freed.

Bill Walker of Little Rock says it seems that often the board's approval of a convict's plans for living and job arrangements if freed is rejected by officials with the Department of Corrections.  Walker says he is frustrated by what seems like many instances when the board's plans are not carried out by the state agency.  Walker wants parole officers to send plans they find unacceptable back to the Parole Board for a final decision.

Department director G. David Guntharp says he doesn't think parole officers are trying usurp the board's authority, but he says he is reviewing Walker's concerns.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)