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Panel: Don’t Consolidate Mass. Probation, Parole

By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press
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Probation Department

BOSTON (AP) — A panel appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to review the state’s troubled probation department is rejecting key proposals made by Gov. Deval Patrick and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

The panel headed by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger recommended a series of changes in the department’s hiring and promotion practices, such as creating a tracking system to record all phases of the application process, including any recommendations and references an applicant receives.

The report said a proposal by DeLeo to require civil service exams for all job seekers would not generate sufficient reform.

Read: 5 Parole Board Members Resign

The panel also called proposals to consolidate or relocate the department a “distraction.”

Patrick is pushing a plan to consolidate the probation and parole departments into a single agency under the governor’s control after parolee Dominic Cinelli shot and killed Woburn police officer Jack Maguire the day after Christmas.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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