Mich. DOC hopes to get tethers back on felons after order to remove them over COVID-19 is rescinded

Many felons who have been released on parole but required to wear a tether were ordered to remove the tether due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan, only to have that order revoked less than a day later.

According to a memo issued Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Corrections to all parole officers, convicted felons - aside from the worst sex offenders, habitual stalkers, and those with alcohol offenses - were ordered to get rid of the tether because of the coronavirus.

A parole officer who asked not to be identified said he was shocked that the DOC would take this action. He said the crimes range from home invasion to murder.

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“These guys are dangerous," he said.

To be clear, tethers were removed from convicted felons who have served the minimum time in prison and are on parole. Now, they're completely free of the real-time monitoring that the tether provided the parole officers.

"These guys are getting out and committing more crimes,” the officer said.

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The DOC said it rescinded the order within an hour of FOX 2 calling to confirm the memo. That means all parolees on a tether will still have to keep their tether on.

However, a spokesperson for the Department Of Corrections estimates hundreds may have had the tethers taken off and "hopefully" they'll be put back on.