STAFF SHORTAGE IN PAROLE & PROBATION: Parole and probation agents in Maryland said Thursday that the state is woefully ill-equipped to deal with the hundreds of nonviolent prisoners who could be released next year under the state’s new criminal-justice reform law. Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that union members argued that many agents carry more than 100 cases and that the numbers are likely to climb when the new sentencing law goes fully into effect in October 2017.
Already, probation agents said, a chronic staffing shortage has left many agents unable to check on offenders or file court reports in a timely way, writes Erin Cox in the Sun. “Right now, the state does not have enough probation agents and support staff to get the job done,” Helen Humphries, a senior parole agent in Baltimore, said during a news conference. “We cannot do the jobs that we are called to do because we are inundated with work already.”
FANTASY SPORTS REGS: Comptroller Peter Franchot has unveiled rules for the state’s daily fantasy sports industry that he said would protect consumers while ensuring that the game operators — and winners — pay taxes, Josh Hicks reports for the Post. The regulations would ban individuals younger than 18 from joining commercial fantasy leagues, limit participants to $1,000 in monthly deposits to their player accounts, bar game operators from extending credit to members and require the companies to comply with tax laws and notify participants of their potential tax obligations, among other measures.
Jeff Barker of the Sun writes that The new regulations — the first in Maryland — also bar sophisticated players from using computer programs that give them an advantage over more casual competitors. “We want to make sure that everything is on the level here,” said Franchot at a media briefing. “I’m happy to join our sister states that have already done that.”