08.12.08

Leahy Bill To Extend U.S. Parole Commission Becomes Law

A bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the United States Parole Commission for three years was signed into law by the President today.

The U.S. Parole Commission is charged with granting or denying parole for incarcerated prisoners under federal jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia.  The current Commission was originally constituted more than 20 years ago, and was slated to expire in 1992.  Congress has acted four times to extend the Commission.  Without the congressional enacted extension, the Commission would have been required under federal law to set release dates for all parole-eligible federal prisoners.  Additionally, the Commission plays a vital role in managing parolees from the District of Columbia who are on supervised release from prison. 

“I am pleased this important bill has been signed into law,” said Leahy.  “The Commission was created and empowered to consider the requests of Federal and District of Columbia inmates who are parole-eligible, as well as D.C. offenders who are on supervised release from prison.  This extension will allow the Commission to continue to perform its important work.”

Leahy introduced the United States Parole Commission Extension Act on July 21, and the Senate unanimously approved the measure the same day.  The House of Representatives passed the measure before the congressional recess.

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