RI expands medical parole program

PROVIDENCE, RI – A new state law expands the Department of Corrections medical parole program. The new law applies to inmates who are so mentally or physically ill that it's unlikely they'll recover.

Inmates who are terminal or immobile can already apply for medical parole. With this new category for those who aren't getting better but not expected to die in six months, the department of corrections anticipates about four prisoners a year will apply.

Patricia Coyne-Fague is chief legal counsel for the Department of Corrections.

"If you thought this inmate was spending time in prison, he's really not, he's spending most of his time in a hospital bed so he's really not getting any rehabilitative benefit from this incarceration," he says.

Inmates seeking medical parole under the new law will take their case before the parole board. If approved, they'll have a probation officer and electronic monitoring.

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