Few would question the need to keep serious violent offenders behind bars. Against the vicious nature of some crimes, it is hard to understand how some criminals ever get released. Simply put, a tight grip on who merits parole and who does not is an important safety measure for our society at large.
Short of serving out the full sentence given by the court, if a prisoner is to be released early, the parole board makes the determination. Based upon an inmate’s history, their behavior in jail and manner of petition, some decisions for early release are easier than others. But there is a line where accounting for the merit for parole is complicated by the particular criminal history that may not jive with behavior in jail, or the quality of the petition for release.
As the Bridge House of New England Aftercare Ministries, Inc. has been serving as a faith-base reentry program in Massachusetts since opening its doors in 1987, we have a vested interest in the successful revamping of the Massachusetts parole office and pray for the success of the new Parole Board Chairman, Josh Wall and his team taking on the difficult task of securing the best judgment of who merits release. We also pray that the men who are genuinely ready and willing to reform and do the hard work of reconciliation with God and society will find mercy in receiving a parole that keeps them from languishing any longer in jail cells longer than justice needs to be served.