The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit in February against the state’s corrections department and Corrections Commissioner Jen Winkelman, alleging that officials denied access to programs needed by four plaintiffs to prepare them for timely release under a discretionary parole program.
The discretionary parole process granted to the men moved up their release dates, accelerating their need for programs that facilitate reentry into society. Corrections officials refused to refer to the revised parole dates in determining the men’s eligibility for the classes, reported the Associated Press.
The complaint requests that a judge order that the four men, as well as others in similar circumstances, “be meaningfully considered for minimum-custody classification, furlough, and electronic monitoring when they apply for such programs, using their discretionary parole date to determine their eligibility.”
The state had not responded to the complaint at the date of the AP story.
“Once we have received and evaluated the complaint we will file an answer in the time allowed by the court rules,” said state Department of Law spokesperson Patty Sullivan in an email.