- Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
- Massachusetts Department of Correction
Media Contact for New Public-Private Partnership Delivers Support to Incarcerated Individuals Navigating the Parole Process and Returning to the Community
Timothy McGuirk, Communications
Boston — To mark the conclusion of National Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) announced a new partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) and the Massachusetts Parole Preparation Partnership (MPPP), a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping parole petitioners prepare for their hearings. As part of this innovative collaboration, MPPP, with the support of DOC, works closely with a group of petitioners to develop a comprehensive transition plan, which they can present to the Massachusetts Parole Board at their hearing and demonstrate their commitment to lasting successful reentry. The program is designed to enhance public safety, reduce recidivism, and facilitate positive re-engagement with the community.
The pilot project will support parole petitioners at MCI-Norfolk serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole. MPPP will match the eligible applicants with two partner paralegals to assist with testimony preparation and related hearing matters, including:
- Collate petitioner information for submission to the Parole Board
- Identify potential family and community support for post-release
- Connect with potential supporters
- Develop strong reentry plans
“This collaborative initiative strives to effectively prepare incarcerated individuals for the transition into communities to reduce crime, victimization, and recidivism while promoting successful reentry,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “EOPSS is proud to introduce this unique collaboration to help participants with community reintegration.”
“The partnership between DOC and MPPP will help break through barriers that can impede successful reentry and impact a returning individual’s ability to lead a healthy and productive life,” said Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Andrew Peck. “EOPSS appreciates the commitment demonstrated by our partners to support parole petitioners with this transformative opportunity as they navigate the parole process and plan for transition back to the community.”
“This partnership with MPPP is an important step toward fostering positive transitions for incarcerated individuals seeking a second chance,” said DOC Commissioner Carol Mici. “This program exemplifies our commitment to embracing innovative and collaborative ways to promote successful reentry and build safer communities.”
"Parole systems should be designed to facilitate and support individual success. That starts with ensuring that people are prepared for their parole hearings and the start of their parole sentence,” said Kendra Bradner, Director, Probation and Parole Project at the Columbia University Justice Lab. “The parole preparation pilot in Massachusetts builds on a highly successful model and is a great example of driving change from within a system to build that foundation and to meet the needs of people who have been and will continue to be impacted by the criminal legal system. Agency leaders across the country should be ready to learn from this initiative and seek to create similar pathways to success in their systems."
“Most people serving a life sentence with parole eligibility go to their hearings without representation. They are not prepared to present their best case for parole, said Kim Jones, MPPP’s Director. “This program will help parole petitioners not only prepare for their hearings, but it will also provide support to them upon release from prison. Petitioners who receive assistance with parole hearing preparation are more likely to be granted parole than those without assistance, and parolees who have formed solid connections with community members have much lower recidivism rates than those who do not.”
The parole preparation partnership pilot phase will be evaluated to assess outcomes and inform evidence-based policy decisions about ways to continually improve the program.
The Healey-Driscoll Administration FY24 budget continues strategic investments in initiatives that provide returning citizens with pathways to sustained employment, transitional housing, and fair chance employment partnerships.