Former Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin has been named chairman of the Mississippi Parole Board. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how McMillin says whether it's pardons or paroles, protecting victims is top priority.

" /> Gov. Bryant Names Malcolm McMillin Parole Board Chairman | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Gov. Bryant Names Malcolm McMillin Parole Board Chairman

By Daniel Cherry | Published 02 Apr 2012 07:48pm | comments

Former Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin has been named chairman of the Mississippi Parole Board. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how McMillin says whether it's pardons or paroles, protecting victims is top priority.

Former Sheriff Malcolm McMillin will head up the five person board to decide which inmates are released from state prison on parole. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant appointed McMillin to the post yesterday. Bryant, a former sheriff's deputy himself, says he wanted someone with experience.

"Given the importance and duties of this position, I wanted to choose someone who has an extensive law enforcement background and an understanding of that criminal justice system."

The new chairman, McMillin served as Hinds County Sheriff for 20 years before losing an election last year. As for his intentions for the board, McMillin says he plans on staying the course set by the board in past years.

"The board has served in a good manner and done a good job over the last eight years, and I don't see anything that jumps out to me as needs to be changed."

The parole board also makes recommendations to the Governor regarding pardons, but the Governor isn't bound to follow those recommendations. After former Governor Haley Barbour's mass pardonings at the end of his term, some legislators hoped to increase the parole board's role in the pardon process. Governor Bryant, didn't go as far as to endorse changing the law, but he says he plans to follow the board's advice closely.

"The Parole Board now has the authority to make recommendations to the Governor. I think that's a very good position to take in the future. They're working carefully with the Department of Corrections, and any recommendations to the Governor would certainly be helpful to start there."

McMillin will take his position as Chairman of the Parole Board as soon as he's approved by the Mississippi Senate. 

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