Makes perfect sense. The board won't be ALL former inmates. I bet they have just one, who will be the prisoner's advocate. With that person's experience, he will be aware of all the tricks the police tend to use. And I am very very sure the preferences of the police will be well represented on the board!
And this IS what the people voted for, after all. The people like law and order but are wary of exactly that sort of "us versus them" attitude expressed by the head of the Oakland Police Officers Association.
Now consider that prisons offer monopolies to specialty telephone companies so the pay phones in prison can charge crazy rates, like $50 for a four minute call. The phone company splits that extortive fee with the prison, so there is no incentive to charge normal rates. There is a class action lawsuit making it's way through the courts, but this is just one example of why inmates need a voice on commissions and boards.