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Legislators consider moving Parole and Probation into prison system

CARSON CITY — Legislators and parole officers questioned Monday why Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to move part of the Division of Parole and Probation into the Department of Corrections when the agency is working fine.

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” asked Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville, after a parole and probation presentation to members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Bernie Curtis, chief of the division, told the committee that the parole success rate is 85 percent, while the probation success rate is 65 percent.

Nationally the parole success rate is about 50 percent.

Curtis added that he has “great officers” and the success rates were extremely high compared with other states. The agency now falls under control of the Department of Public Safety.

But Sandoval wants to move the parole function of the agency to the control of the Department of Corrections, the arrangement used in 40 states. The transfer would move 34 civilian staff members and 71 parole officers.

A line of parole officers, all saying they were speaking on their personal time, spoke in opposition to the transfer.

A decision on whether to approve the transfer will not be made until late in the session when the Assembly and Senate budget committees change or approve Sandoval’s budget.

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