By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s governor has appointed someone who once was incarcerated to the state’s parole board for the first time.

Democratic Gov. Dan McKee said Friday that he appointed Peter Slom, making him the first formerly incarcerated person to join the Rhode Island Parole Board. Slom went before the board in 1992, about 26 months into his six-year sentence for dealing cocaine, The Providence Journal reported.

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If he wasn’t given that opportunity to be released early, Slom said, he never would have achieved a productive life or been able to work to help others.

Slom recently retired after working for over 25 years for the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. He spent most of that time at the state’s juvenile detention center, where he served as associate director.

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The seven members of the parole board are appointed by the governor. They consider the early release of people serving more than six months and determine the revocation and return of parole violators.

“The members of the Rhode Island Parole Board have a significant responsibility in our communities,” McKee said in a statement. “Peter Slom’s extensive experience in rehabilitation and social work will be an asset to the board, and his background will help bring new perspective to each individual case.

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