By Lauren Watford
A major parole reform is now underway in Massachusetts after a win in Dinkins & Ivey v. Massachusetts Parole Board. Prisoners serving parole-eligible life sentences with consecutive sentences could be released years, possibly decades sooner, and will receive new parole hearings. Importantly, the Court held the Parole Board accountable for its injustices.
One source of hope for these lifers and their families was the Dinkins case, brought by William Dinkins, Jr. and Eugene Ivey, two individuals facing life sentences and consecutive sentences. The attorney, Ryan Schiff, is an alumnus of the Northeastern Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. The plaintiffs argued the Parole Board’s policy was unconstitutional and contravened the parole statute by requiring lifers to be paroled from one sentence to the next.