Donald Perry is a 60 years-old loving family man. He is a compassionate community servant, with a generous spirit. Donald has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of countless community members who have witnessed his tireless work on behalf of poor and homeless persons in Hampshire County.
This has not always been the case. As a result of a traumatic childhood Donald had engaged in numerous criminal activities that resulted in him being in trouble with the law. In 1983, Donald found himself in a situation where he was given the maximum penalty of 2nd degree life though he didn’t kill or physically harm anyone. He served 18 years and 7 month’s of his term before being released on parole.
During his incarceration, Donald spent 3 years in solitary confinement. It was then he decided he need to do something different, “I felt like spending 23 hours a day locked in a cell was doing a disservice to myself. I realized then I need to do something different.” He became involved in every program that prison had to offer to better educate himself in order to become an asset to the community he would go home to.
Upon his release, Donald used the next decade to build and cement his reputation as one of the Massachusetts parole boards greatest success stories. Not only did he embrace the concepts of the programs offered to him, he also put himself through school and graduated from University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors degree.
He was working full time as the coordinator for the single room occupancy Outreach program and kitchen manager at the local soup kitchen when he was pulled over and arrested in 2011. The MA Parole Board imprisoned him for 2 years and 8 months for a crime he did not commit, and was acquitted of. (Read about The Case)
At present, Donald is on parole for life based on his imposed sentence. Donald, Elaine, close family members, and friends well understand after this recent incident, that Donald can be picked up and returned to prison any moment regardless of what he does or doesn’t do.
The idea and much effort now is Donald going back into court on a RULE 30 motion to hopefully get his life sentence vacated. Donald says he’ll never be FREE until he’s off parole, period.