Due to public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Governor Lamont’s Executive Order, the Board’s offices at 55 West Main Street are currently closed to the public (Click here for DAS Visitor Policy) . Parole Release and Revocation hearings conducted by video-conference will continue as scheduled during normal business hours until further notice. Members of the public may access the following parole hearings via Teams Live Event video feed (Click here for instructions. The video will be available for viewing after the hearing as long as the link is posted on the website). Hearings start at 9am unless posted otherwise. Click on the below links to watch hearings on:

June 16th 2021:

PO Diakon Revocation Hearing - R#1.

PO Vazquez Revocation Hearing - R#3.

June 18th 2021 (please note there is no hearings on June 17th):

Corrigan/Radgowski Hearing - R#2

Osborn CI Hearing - R#3.


All hearings will be conducted as MS Teams or Zoom Virtual Hearings and streamed LIVE on this website as well. Please check back periodically for updates and links. Please refresh or switch your web browser if the links are not working.

Current Board Members

 

Carleton J. Giles

Chairperson

Chairperson Giles was appointed to the Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in September 2013 and subsequently appointed as Chairperson in May 2014.  He is a retired police officer who served 33 years with the Norwalk Department of Police Service, spending several years assigned to the department’s youth division where he was responsible for investigating improper conduct and criminal activity against children.   

During his distinguished career in law enforcement, Chair Giles was actively involved with the city’s youth, both through his work with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and as a Certified School Resource Officer.  Officer Giles’ work focused on preventing juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and police through law enforcement, education and counseling.  Chair Giles is a graduate of the Suffolk County, New York Police Academy and the Connecticut Municipal Police Officer Training Academy.  He is also a former Chairman of the City of Milford’s Police Commission.

 

Rufaro Berry

Full-Time Board Member

Ms. Berry was appointed to the Connecticut Board Of Pardons and Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in October 2014.  She was previously employed as a paralegal at Bershtein, Bershtein and Bershtein for 15 years assisting with firm’s partners and interviewing clients.  

Ms. Berry graduated Magna Cum Laude from Albertus Magnus College in 2009 with a degree in Criminal Justice, Sociology and Business Management.   Ms. Berry is passionate about justice prevailing and is honored to serve as a member of the Parole Board. 

 

 

Joy Chance

Full-Time Board Member

Ms. Chance was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in October 2014.  Ms. Chance came to the Board with more than 16 years of supervisory experience evaluating parolees for appropriate placement in a parole supervised program.  She most recently worked as a Therapist with The Connection, Inc., where she counseled and assisted parolees in maintaining parole compliance.  Prior to this position, Ms. Chance served as Director of Employment, Education and Training for both staff and parolees at Open Hearth Association in Hartford, CT.   

Ms. Chance began her work in social services as a Program Supervisor at the Open Hearth Association and was responsible for the direct supervision for approximately 50 residents on parole, probation, pre-trial status, as well as Department of Correction inmates who were receiving a variety of services and work release opportunities.  

Ms. Chance holds a Master's of Education Degree with a Minor in Psychology from Cambridge College.  

 

Stephen D. Dargan

Full-Time Board Member

Mr. Dargan was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in 2017.  Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. Dargan served as a State Representative for the Connecticut General Assembly’s 115th Assembly District of West Haven, having held that office from 1991 to 2017.  For 22 years, he held the position of House Chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee, which has cognizance of all matters relating to the state police, municipal police training, fire marshals, civil preparedness and homeland security.

From 1980 to 2004, Mr. Dargan served as Fire Commissioner for the City of West Haven and was also a member of the West Haven City Council from 1985 to 1991.   

 

Michael Pohl

Full-Time Board Member

Mr. Pohl was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Full Time Member in May 2019.  Prior to his appointment to the Board, as a certified teacher, he taught 8th grade United States History at Illing Middle School in Manchester from 2009 to 2019. Mr. Pohl earned degrees at Manchester Community College, Charter Oak College and also performed graduate work at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Mr. Pohl was appointed in 1986 to the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (CADAC) by Governor William A. O’Neill due to his experience and knowledge in the prevention and treatment of alcohol addiction.  While a CADAC Commissioner, Mr. Pohl interacted with many community based treatment programs, as well as, many Connecticut Department of Correction Addiction Services programs. Mr. Pohl is the Executive Director of Pathfinders Association in Manchester where he began his own personal recovery from alcoholism and addiction in 1984. For the past 35 years, Mr. Pohl has worked with many people seeking recovery, in most recent years with people recovering from opioid addiction.  Mr. Pohl has also been a Justice of the Peace for the past 25 years.

 

Carmen Sierra

Full-Time Board Member

Ms. Sierra was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in February 2016.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Sierra worked for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch's Office of Victim Services in the position of Victim Services Advocate.  Ms. Sierra comes to the Board with over 18 years of service to victims of crime in Connecticut.

Ms. Sierra has assisted many victims and families by providing information and informing them of their rights and determining the appropriate referrals for their needs.  She was the first ever Victim Services Advocate assigned to the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 2008.  After six years at the Board, Ms. Sierra transferred back to the court system and now brings her knowledge of the Criminal Justice System and victim's rights in her position on the Board.  She has received diplomas from the Stratford Career Institute in Psychology/Social Work, Private Investigation and Funeral Service Education.

 

Nancy Turner

Full-Time Board Member

Ms. Turner was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in 2017.  Prior to joining the Board, she coordinated a statewide effort to address the needs of substance-exposed infants and their families at Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc., and served as the Director of Offender Risk Reduction for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) where she also chaired the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee.

Previously, Ms. Turner worked in Washington, D.C. for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as a Senior Program Manager.  During her fourteen years with the IACP, she managed a series of Federal grants to set standards and policy to guide police response to and investigation of various crimes including homicide, stalking, human trafficking, sexual assault and gun violence.  In addition, Ms. Turner developed and delivered leadership training programs for major city, state, rural and campus law enforcement executives.
 
Ms. Turner taught on the faculty of The George Washington University from 1990 to 2005 and previously lobbied Congress for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  She earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master's Degree from The George Washington University.

 

Jennifer Zaccagnini

Full-Time Board Member

Ms. Zaccagnini was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles as a Full-time Board Member in 2014.  Ms. Zaccagnini ’s experience and education prepared her for her initial appointment to the Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Part-time Board Member in 2008.  She holds a Bachelor's in Sociology from Central Connecticut State University and a Master's in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven.  Ms. Zaccagnini began her career in Social Services as a Residential Monitor and Treatment Social Worker with the Alternative Incarceration Center (AIC) in Waterbury, CT and was responsible for the direct supervision of approximately 40 residents who were on pre-trial, probationary or parole status and receiving services and work release opportunities while residing in the facility. 

Ms. Zaccagnini also worked as an Investigative Social Worker and Social Work Supervisor with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Torrington, CT.  At DCF, her primary focus was the protection of Connecticut’s children.  She was responsible for providing families with the necessary services and programs to maintain their family unit or to provide the tools for the successful reunification of families when possible.  In her role as Investigative Social Worker, she was the first to respond to allegations of child abuse and neglect and ultimately made the determination whether a child was at risk of harm and whether services were necessary for a family.  As a Social Work Supervisor, she supervised social workers in a treatment/training unit.

 

Kelly Smayda
Part-Time Board Member

Ms. Smayda was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles as a Part-time Board Member in 2008.  Ms. Smayda is a retired Deputy Warden from the Connecticut Department of Correction after having served over 20 years.  She held various positions having been promoted through the ranks during her career.  The majority of her time was spent in overseeing various institutional treatment programs for inmates which, she believes, is ultimately in the best interest of public safety.  Ms. Smayda was also responsible for reviewing and approving offendres for community release programming, including halfway house and inpatient treatment programs.  Her extensive and impressive background in Corrections and treatment programming has given her a greater understanding of an offender’s needs and the challenges they will face upon their re-release to the community. 

Ms. Smayda, having been a Dean’s list student, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Legal Studies from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

 

Deborah Smith-Palmieri
 
Part-Time Board Member

Deborah Smith-Palmieri was appointed to the Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Part-time member in July 2020. She retired as Supervising United States Probation Officer for the District of Connecticut in 2018 where she served for 28 years. Throughout her career she specialized in working with high-risk offenders, including substance abuse and mental health clients. In addition, she was the treatment contracting specialist, responsible for the solicitation and subsequent monitoring of evidence-based substance abuse and mental health services for the District. In 2008, she led the implementation of the Connecticut U.S. District Court’s three Drug Courts and was the operational coordinator of each until her retirement. In 2015, Ms. Smith-Palmieri also worked to implement the District’s first Re-entry Court in Connecticut.

Since 2017, Ms. Smith-Palmieri has served as a board member with the New England Association of Recovery Court Professionals. She has also consulted with the Center for Court Innovation on Drug Court education and has participated on the Connecticut Project Safe Neighborhood grant review team. Ms. Smith-Palmieri has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from SCSU.