Shocking number of parolees allowed to remain free after committing new crimes

The horrific saga of 24-year-old Kiara Taylor led us to examine questionable decisions by the Texas Parole Board. After serving jail time for a number of crimes he committed while on parole, Taylor was allowed to remain free. That allowed him to allegedly murder 19-year-old Peter Milkie.

“You didn’t do your job. My son is dead,” said Peter’s mother Dana Milkie.

Aggravated robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, injury to an elderly injury or to a child -- those are just a few of the crimes committed by parolees who didn’t have their paroles revoked after serving time for new crimes.

Between 2011 and 2016, almost 70,000 parolees statewide committed new crimes. Of those, about 37,000 were not sent back to prison after serving jail time for the new convictions. That’s according to figures we obtained from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Here in Harris County during that same time frame, more than 9,000 parolees committed new crimes and about half of them did not have their paroles revoked.

“You would think that if you’re on parole serving time in the community and you violate state law that would trigger an automatic response back to prison,” said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan. “But based on what you’ve found that isn’t the case and it defies logic.”

Kiara Taylor’s own parole officer told the parole board he was a continuing threat to society but the board ignored that.

According to the state’s own figures between 2011 and 2016 the parole board ignored the parole officer’s recommendation to revoke a parolee 513 times.

“If you’re not taking the recommendation of the person who knows this individual better than anyone and you’re overruling that you’re putting us all in danger,” Kahan said.