Parole in Massachusetts is in crisis. In the wake of the fatal December 26, 2010 shootout between a lifer on parole and a Woburn police officer, Governor Patrick demanded the resignation of the five members of the Parole Board who had voted for the lifer’s parole and temporarily suspended all parole hearings.

Since the new Parole Board started hearing petitions in early 2011, no “lifers” have been granted parole. Total parole releases are down 58% from 2010 levels, resulting in 593 more prisoners remaining in DOC custody.