DOZENS OF GROUPS URGE MASSACHUSETTS PAROLE BOARD REFORMS AMID PANDEMIC
Jan 5, 2021
By Deborah Becker
After 17 years on parole in Massachusetts, Wayne Lane completed his parole in March of last year — at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While on parole, Lane, 59, bought a house and began working to help others seeking release from prison on parole.
“I was able to get a second chance and others deserve the same,” he said. “It’s important, especially during this pandemic, that we give others the opportunity to come home.”
Lane works with the group Families for Justice as Healing, which is among the more than 70 organizations that sent a letter to the Baker administration and legislative leaders Tuesday calling for reforms to the state’s parole board to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus behind bars.
The letter says while COVID-19 has affected 5% of the state’s population, 21% of those incarcerated have tested positive. The signed groups recommend several steps state lawmakers could take, because, the letter says, the board will not act on its own.