Missouri Parole Board Accused of Playing ‘Parole Bingo’ With Inmates

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) A non-profit public-interest law firm is asking Governor Eric Greitens to seek reform in Missouri’s parole and probation system – starting with the removal of board member Don Ruzicka.

MacArthur Justice Center Director Mae Quinn says Ruzicka and an unnamed parole analyst have played games with inmates at hearings, trying to get them to say a silly “word of the day.” They would also try to get them to say song titles.

Quinn says words such as “platypus,” “armadillo,” “manatee” and “hootenanny” – are all words unrelated to the criminal justice proceedings they were supposed to be overseeing.

Shatiega Brown is the sister of Norman Brown, who’s served 28 years behind bars and been up for parole hearings with Ruzicka. She is outraged by a corrections department inspector general’s findings

“Have hearings conducted by a man who sees people, like my brother, as means of entertainment,” Brown says. “Imagine if this was your family, your father, your brother.”

Quinn says Ruzicka’s conduct was uncovered by Missouri’s corrections department inspector general, who reported it to proper authorities, but no action was taken.

At Thursday’s news conference in south Saint Louis, Quinn wondered aloud how many of the 45,000 hearings conducted since Ruzicka’s been on the board could’ve been tainted by his actions.

KMOX News reached out to the Missouri Department of Corrections for a response, but have not gotten one.

For more information, click here.

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