115 prisoners released without mandated anti-violence classes

At least 115 state prison inmates have been released without taking domestic violence classes mandated by the state Board of Paroles, according to WSMV TV.

Board of Parole member Patsy Bruce says she first learned of the situation when an inmate contacted her last year to say the courses on “batterers intervention and victim impact” that he was supposed to take were not available. A check indicated 428 inmates mandates to attend the classes did not do so in a five-month period last year and 115 were released without attending since their sentences expired.

“That’s the scariest thing you can hear – is that you have released somebody, and they are not even getting any kind of help to not do what they’d done many times – or sometimes before,” Bruce said.

Lisa Helton, a Department of Correction field services administrator, said there was a backlog of parolees assigned to classes because there wasn’t enough parole officers to teach them.
The state has since contracted with a private company, called Spectrum, to teach the classes. The 115 inmates already released were offered a chance to take them afterwards, but none did.