Richard Sparaco earned a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and began his career with the Department of Correction in 1992 working as a social worker trainee assigned to the Board of Parole. In 1994, he became a Parole Officer in the Hearings Division of the Board of Parole assigned to various Correctional Jails, Institutions, and Halfway Houses around the state. In 1998, he transferred to the Special Management Unit of the Field Services Division of the Board to pilot the Zero Tolerance Drug Program in New Haven. In 1999, he returned to the Hearings Division and was assigned to special projects that included the implementation of the Board of Parole Risk Assessment Instrument.
In 2000, Director Sparaco was promoted to Parole and Community Service Manager overseeing release and violation hearings for the Board. His duties were expanded to include legislative liaison for the agency and project manager for creation and implementation of cross-agency electronic case management system. He also spearheaded many new initiatives such as the creation of an Intake and Assessment Unit; and creation of a Planning, Research & Development Unit for which he was named Director in 2011. He has become an expert in the areas of structured decision-making, re-entry, supervision models, parole violation proceedings, and actuarial risk assessment. On May 15, 2014 he was appointed by Chairperson Carleton Giles as the Executive Director of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.