In November, HB 5078-5080 were introduced in the House of Representatives and sent to the Appropriations Committee, which would allow the parole board to grant medical paroles to people who are physically or mentally incapacitated. The bills, sponsored by Reps. Pscholka, Pagel, and others, establish the process by which the parole board can consider and enact medical paroles.
CAPPS Associate Director of Policy and Research, Barbara Levine, testified on December 2nd on the benefits of bills 5078-5080 and the detriment of HB 5081. 5078-5080 will not only save the state money but also allow those who are “long past doing any harm to anyone else” to receive needed medical care in well-equipped facilities. HB 5081, however, would make it a crime for some to assist a parolee in leaving the facility where they have placed for their medical parole. This bill is problematic because it “would make it a crime for nursing home staff to take a parolee offsite to a hospital or doctor’s appointment. It would also be a crime for a family member to innocently and temporarily take a parolee home for a holiday meal, even if that did not violate the rules of the medical facility.” Barbara’s full testimony as well as a link to the bill package can be found below.