Gov. Baker nominated on Jan. 2 the Parole Board’s General Counsel, Gloriann Moroney, to fill Lucy Soto Abbe’s seat, who served on the Parole Board since 2010. Prior to coming to the Board as General Counsel in Jan. 2016, Moroney was an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County for 14 years.
The Coalition for Effective Public Safety (CEPS is a meta-group of activists and advocacy agencies) has long advocated for a parole board member with experience in social work, mental health, and substance abuse disorder.
We are calling on YOU to speak out for the appointment of a board member with a psych background so that the Board can better assess candidates who come before them, including many with mental health and addiction issues.
Five current members of the Parole Board have law enforcement backgrounds which limit the range of perspectives to fairly judge parole applicants.
There are other problems with Moroney’s nomination.
· She oversees a Board that does not have a healthy paroling rate;
· Prisoners with life sentences must wait eight to 10 months for parole decisions;
· The Board has not recommended one person for commutation or pardon since Moroney became General Counsel, much less in the past year since Ms. Moroney became executive director and general counsel;
· The Board has not acted on a single petition for commutation since she became Counsel; and
· Too many people are returning to prison on technical violations rather than receiving intermediate sanctions, and so we needlessly fill our prisons and create more harm.
In her testimony given Wednesday, Moroney would not promise to serve out the five year appointment, and would not answer the question, “Do you want to become a judge?” The conclusion could be made that Moroney may use the Parole Board role as a stepping stone to a judgeship.
PLEASE take action by Tuesday at 5 pm
CEPS asks you call to your Governor’s Councilor (which appoints Parole Board members) before Weds. Jan. 16, when they will vote on Moroney’s nomination.
Here are talking points for your councilor
Our present Parole Board has five members who have worked in law enforcement, parole, as attorneys, or in corrections, with only one member, Dr. Charlene Bonner, with experience and training in psychology.
We have no Parole Board members with experience and training in psychiatry, sociology or social work.
I oppose Moroney’s nomination because to fairly judge the parole applicants, the Board needs more balance in their training and experience, outside of law enforcement.
Because she does take ownership of her role at the Board and supervises seriously flawed practices—low paroling rate, too many re-incarcerations, not acting on commutations, unconscionable delays in lifer decisions—I ask you to vote against Gloriann Moroney’s nomination for parole board.
Find your Governor’s Councillor here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/councillors
Find your district here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eledist/counc11idx.htm
THANK YOU VERY MUCH on behalf of CEPS, the Massachusetts Coalition for Effective Public Safety, a group of individual activists and advocacy agencies.