Suit alleges parole board has ‘blanket practice’ of denying requests to end supervision
November 30, 2021
By Deborah Becker
It was 14 years ago that Dion Young was released from prison. Since then, he said he’s complied with all conditions of his parole and is working full-time and mentoring at-risk youth. At 51 years old, he decided to ask that his parole be terminated, a move allowed under state law.
“I’ve only been incarcerated once and learned my lesson after my first incarceration,” Young said. “I followed all the guidelines that parole had laid out, plain and simple. You had rules and regulations I had to follow. I followed them, so I’m requesting that my parole be terminated.”
But, he found out that terminating parole is rare in Massachusetts. His first request was denied. The parole board’s ruling said that although Young adhered to all conditions of his supervision following his second-degree murder conviction, he did not “establish a compelling reason” as to why termination of his parole is in the public interest.
“I’m still paying parole fees and complying,” Young said. “This is 14 years later. So where is the out from that, and what is the phase out from that system?”
Young is now among 10 plaintiffs in a civil suit against the Massachusetts Parole Board alleging it is not following the 1955 state law that allows people to seek an end to parole after a certain amount of time, depending on their offense.