Public hearing on bill to reinstate parole in Maine

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - It’s been a busy day at the State House in Augusta and one filled with people to weigh in on parole in Maine.

The room has been packed with people speaking at the public hearing.

There have been more than a hundred testimonies in favor of the bill that would reinstate parole.

Parole was abolished in the state in 1976 and supporters of the bill say not only would it have an economic impact in the state, they say it is immoral and supports systemic oppression against prisoners.

One person who spoke against the bill says it is unfair for victims to have to relive their trauma, one that she and her family have had to after her sister was murdered at the age of 18.

Rosanna Boyce says she sympathizes with the victims but says not all inmates including ones who have committed heinous crimes will be eligible for parole.

“It becomes a revolving door because there is no reentry process for them to safely reintegrate back into society,” Boyce said.

“As I said in my testimony, a lot of the men and women that are serving long sentences in Maine have been incarcerated for most or all of their adult life, some since they were juveniles. They have no idea how to operate in in the real world as an adult,” she said.

“The parole bill needs not even be considered, they ought to not to pass this. My family went through parole every five years when that inmate requested it and it was torture. It was absolute torture, going into the bowels of the building, being amongst inmates, having to relive the nightmare of my sister’s murder, and that is very unfair. It’s cruel that we don’t want the rest of this state to have to go through that, Vicki Dill said in opposition of the bill.

Testimonies for the bill included victims who say people incarcerated deserve a second chance.