Charges against parolees in 6 murders spurs review by state
FILE PHOTO: This June 1, 2018, file photo, shows a housing unit in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
(Harrisburg) — Pennsylvania’s top prisons official says six murders allegedly committed by parolees over the past two months are horrendous and he’s ordering a review of the parolees’ supervision history.
Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said Wednesday his agency must determine if something should have been done differently.
Dozens of parolees are arrested every year for murder.
One is a convicted murderer who got out of prison in March and is now charged with killing an 8-year-old boy. Another is charged with fatally shooting an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer.
Two other parolees released from prison in the past two years are facing charges in the beating death of a 2-year-old Baltimore boy and the strangulation of a 49-year-old Hershey woman. Calvin Purdie, 33, was charged in the May 23 strangling of the mother of his girlfriend in her Dauphin County home before he allegedly set fire to the house to cover up the crime.
The corrections officers’ union says the cases should warrant an outside review, not internal, and that parole decisions are too automatic.
The parole board ultimately decides which inmates get parole.