OLYMPIA, Wash. –Washington's Secretary of Corrections will make the case Wednesday for permanent changes to the interstate compact on parolees. This stems from the murders of four Lakewood police officers last November by Arkansas parolee Maurice Clemmons.
Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail believes states that receive an out-of-state parolee deserve more rights under a 50-state compact. Vail will testify before the compact's executive committee at a meeting in Kentucky. Speaking by cell phone on the way to the airport, Vail said Washington's hands were tied in the Maurice Clemmons case.
Eldon Vail: “We should at least have the same authority as the sending state. We would like to be on an equal par with them at a minimum. And right now they have the authority, we don't.”
Specifically, Vail would require a sending state to provide all background information on an offender before the receiving state agrees to take that person. Also, Vail wants receiving states to have the authority to send an offender home – no questions asked - if the parolee is deemed a risk to public safety. Vail's goal at the meeting in Kentucky is to convince the executive committee to consider these rule changes this year, rather than waiting until the commission's meeting in 2011.
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