Massachusetts Parole Board Doing Positive Work

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Massachusetts parole board is faced every year with a dubious task - on average each board member faces 1,300 hearings a year - and they must make decisions whether to allow criminals to be released on parole.

Their job is not easy, though only about 100 of those requests each year are requested by second-degree murderers (1st degree murderers are not eligible for parole) they have to take each case seriously and one by one.

About 6,000 convicted criminals are freed each year to an astounding rate of successful rehabilitation.

Of course, mistakes are made, and the Mass. parole board is under scrutiny for the release of Corliss, a 63 year-old convicted murderer with a criminal record dating back 40 years. On his rap, a murder with remarkably similar details from 1971 to the recent murder of a convenience store murder.

Corliss escaped prison twice and violated parole three months after the board released him at the age of 60. The board used statistics to assume that most inmates at that age have long passed the time when they are most likely to commit crime. Corliss had proved to have no problems since 1991.

Board member Giancioppo said, "I think it's important to recognize we're in a risk management business, 95% of all inmates are ultimately going to be released into the community...there are no guarantees with human behavior."


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