In previous articles on my blog, I have mentioned the importance of the Board of Pardons and Paroles members for your pardon application. This Board has sole control over who receives and who is denied pardons in the state of Connecticut. For this reason, if you are serious about your pardon application, you need to do more than recognize the Board of Pardons. Your pardon application will be best if you understand each individual member of the Board. You should try to align your application to their personal viewpoints, beliefs, and values. While this will not guarantee a successful pardon, it can improve your chances of having a pardon hearing. This is the first step in getting your pardon granted.

In this article, I will discuss each of the Board of Pardon and Parole members individually. This will give you a good idea of each board member, which can make your pardon application stronger.

Carleton Giles


Carleton Giles has been a full-time member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles since September 2013, when Governor Malloy appointed him. 6 months later, in March 2014, Governor Malloy appointed Giles Chairperson of the Board. Giles joins the Board of Pardons and Paroles after 33 years of service as a Norwalk police officer. Giles worked for several years in Norwalk’s youth division investigating criminal activity against minors. Working with youth is a passion of Giles’. During his time as a police officer, he also participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and he received certification as a school resource officer.

Giles is a certified police officer in the states of New York and Connecticut. His passion is working with youth and preventing juvenile crime through counseling and education. If you have done any community service helping the youth, you should include this in your pardon application. This work will surely get the attention of Giles. For example, be sure to highlight work such as:

  • Speaking to schools or classrooms of at-risk children.
  • Mentoring or tutoring children.
  • Coaching a youth sports team.
  • Counseling at-risk children.
  • Participating in a religious program designed to help children.

Role as Board Member

Because child advocacy is an important topic for the Chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, it is a good idea to mention any positive work that you have done with children or teenagers. This can help your pardon application stand out in a positive way. For assistance filling out the pardon application and making sure that it is as good as it can be, you can contact my office.

Robert Murphy

Early Career

Robert Murphy has been a full-time member of the Board of Pardons since 2008. He is a graduate of St. John’s University. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from this institution. In addition, he has a Masters Degree in Business Administration in Financial Management from the Graduate School at Pace University. These degrees indicate the importance of education to Murphy. If you have made an effort to improve your education since the time of your arrest, this is something that might appeal to Murphy’s values. You should be sure to include this information on your pardon application.

Before beginning his career as a Board of Pardons and Paroles member, Murphy was an FBI special agent. Working with the FBI, Murphy has 26 years of experience with things such as:

  • White-collar crime.
  • Criminal matters.
  • Investigations.
  • Foreign counter-intelligence.
  • Background investigations.
  • Terrorism.
  • White House special inquiries.
  • Special inquiries for other government agencies.
  • Joint terrorist task forces.
  • Surveillance teams.

Retirement From FBI

After retiring from the FBI, Murphy worked as a contract investigator with Kroll Incorporated. While working for Kroll Incorporated, Murphy was in charge of investigations for Customs, Boarder Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Office of Personnel Management. He also weighed in on security clearance determinations and employment suitability for Customs and Board Protection. After his work with Kroll Incorporated, Murphy became a member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

If Robert Murphy is present at your pardon hearing, you should consider focusing your argument for your pardon on your increased education since your arrest. Also consider talking about your community service. Both of these things will appeal to Murphy and his own experiences.

Jennifer Zaccagnini

Early Career

As mentioned above, Zaccagnini was appointed to the Board of Pardons as a part time member in 2008. She has served on the Board of Pardons and Paroles ever since. Before her involvement with the Board of Pardons, Zaccagnini worked to further her education and held many positions in the social services field. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University in Sociology, as well as a Master’s degree from the University of New Haven in Criminal Justice. 

Upon graduation, Zaccagnini went to work with the Alternative Incarceration Center (AIC), located in Waterbury, Connecticut. She worked as a treatment social worker and a residential monitor for the AIC. During this time, she supervised 40 facility residents at various stages of the criminal process. Some residents were awaiting trial, while others were on parole or probation. This experience helped her to manage and help people as they navigated the criminal justice system.

After leaving the AIC, Zaccagnini went to work for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Torrington, Connecticut. She worked as a social work supervisor and an investigative social worker. Her role with DCF allowed her to help families stay together or reunite after time apart. Zaccagnini’s goal during her time with DCF was to do what was best for the children in Connecticut. As an investigative social worker, sometimes this meant removing children from abusive situations. 

Role as Board Member

Zaccagnini’s resume and education indicate that she is committed to helping children and families, as well as assisting those who have been convicted of a crime to turn their lives around. For these reasons, it makes sense that Zaccagnini would want to help people start over by granting pardons. If you can prove that you have made positive steps in your life to change for the better, Zaccagnini will appreciate this. Positive volunteer work with children would also be viewed favorably by Zaccagnini.

Rufaro Berry

Early Career

Berry was appointed to the Board of Pardons and Paroles in October 2014. Governor Dannel Malloy appointed Berry as a full-time member of the Board of Pardons. She has remained a full time board member since. Her previous education and work experience give her a unique perspective on the pardon process. Berry went to school at Albertus Magnus College. She graduated in 2009 Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business Management, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. She also worked for 15 years as a paralegal for the Bershtein, Bershtein, and Bershtein law firm in Hamden, Connecticut. Among her jobs with the law firm, Berry worked with clients and the firm’s partners on cases. 

Role as a Board Member

Despite the fact that she is new to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, Berry is passionate about and dedicated to social justice. Her experience working for a private law firm helped her to interact with people who had been accused of crimes. This gives her a different perspective on the pardon applicants that she works with. 

It is likely that as a full time member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, Berry will have some interaction with your pardon application. For this reason, you should make sure that your pardon application and what you say during your pardon hearing will align with Berry’s passions and interests. While this will not guarantee that your application will be approved, it can improve your chances of getting a pardon approved. 

Joy Chance


Joy Chance has been a full-time member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles since October 2014. At this time, she got appointed to the Board by Governor Malloy. Chance went to Cambridge College, where she earned a Masters in Education and a minor degree in Psychology. 

Early Career

Chance began her career working in social services at the Open Hearth Association, located in Hartford, Connecticut. At this association, she worked as the Director of Employment, Education, and Training for parolees and staff members. During this time, she was in charge of supervising about 50 residents who were on probation and parole. She also supervised those who had pre-trial status, and those who were inmates of the Department of Corrections. After working with the Open Hearth Association, Chance spent over 16 years supervising and evaluating parolees to determine the right parole supervised program for each individual. Most recently, Chance worked with parolees as a therapist with Connection, Inc. Her counseling assisted parolees in their quest to remain in compliance with their parole orders. Chance worked with these parolees to maintain their parole status and the experience allowed Chance the opportunity to understand the unique problems facing current parolees. 

Role as Board Member

Working with parolees in various jobs and contexts, Chance came to understand which parolees were truly remorseful for their pasts, as well as the needs of each parolee. These skills help Chance understand pardon applicants’ backgrounds as well as their desires to make positive changes in their lives, which helps her determine how genuine a candidate is in his or her application. Her extensive background with those convicted of crimes makes her a Board of Pardons member who understands the pardon applicant. Her desire to help these applicants change their lives is apparent in her career background. Your application can appeal to Chance if you can show the positive work that you did as a parolee and how you will continue this model behavior once your pardon is granted. 

Kenneth Ireland

Prison Sentence

Ireland has a unique background. He spent 21 years in Connecticut’s prison system. In 2009, DNA evidence proved that he did not commit the crime the he got accused of. This crime was the rape and murder of a Connecticut resident. Ireland worked with the Connecticut Innocence Project to gather the evidence needed to prove his innocence. In 2009, he got exonerated of the crime. Also, he recently got awarded $6 million in compensation from the State. In 2014, Governor Malloy appointed Ireland as a full time member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. 

Upon release from prison, Ireland worked as a bookkeeper and accountant for the Capitol Region Education Council. He also worked as a Public Student Information Service State Reporter. 

After Prison

In 2009, Ireland began working with high risk and expelled youths at the Alternative Academy in Bloomfield, Connecticut. He worked with the Bloomfield Board of Education. He worked to help these youths work on conflict resolution and expressed the benefit of furthering their education. In addition, he worked to improve the criminal justice system in Connecticut and has volunteered his time in many forms of community service. These actions earned him the Liberty Bell Award from the Fairfield County Bar Association in 2014. This prestigious award started 40 years ago to highlight a community member who fought for better understanding of Connecticut’s law, has worked in community service, encouraged respect for the courts and laws in the State, and who has expressed a sense of civic responsibility. Usually, recipients of this award are judges or lawyers, but Ireland’s work in the community earned him this Award. 

Since 2009, Ireland has actively participated in law schools throughout Connecticut and the northeast, talking to future lawyers about the issues that he faced in his case and how these issues can get minimized. He has also worked to get federal funding for the Connecticut Innocence Project, the project that helped him prove his innocence over twenty years after his conviction. 

First Hand Experience

Kenneth Ireland is a unique member of the Board of Pardons because he has experienced incarceration and the process of integration back into society. He also knows what it is like to be exonerated for a crime and how much this can mean to a person’s life. He believes in giving second chances and wants to see others who face incarceration succeed. By showing that you want to be involved in building up your community and being an inspiration for other people, as Ireland himself has been, you can make your pardon application better. 

David May

Early Career

May graduated from Eastern Connecticut University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduating, he wanted to work in the criminal justice field. He began his career as a Correction Officer in 1971. As time went by, May became a Correction Counselor, Supervising Counselor, Deputy Warden, and eventually, the Warden of the Northern Correctional Institution. Throughout his time working in the correctional system, May learned about inmate security, classification, and programming. He also learned about community release and substance abuse treatment programs available to inmates. 


In 1995, David May retired from the Department of Corrections and went to work for Youth Continuum. This organization is a non-profit company based in New Haven, Connecticut that takes care of at-risk children. May went to work as a Program Director of a group home for 13 at-risk teenagers. It was during this time that May began working with at-risk teenagers. In 2000, he continued this work by becoming the Superintendent of the Hartford Juvenile Detention Center. During his time as the Superintendent, he was able to expand their facilities and earned the Detention Center four national accreditations. He retired from this position in 2008. It was at this time that May was appointed as a part time member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and he has remained a board member ever since. 

May’s experience on the Board of Pardons means that he has seen many different pardon applications. His experience with inmates has helped him to understand the plights of former inmates. In addition, his work with at risk juveniles means that he will appreciate a pardon applicant who has worked with juveniles as a positive role model and help them further their educations. 

As you work on your pardon application, keep in mind David May’s values and personal history. Many of the Board of Pardons and Paroles members have similar beliefs, and by working to show that you have impacted the lives of others in positive ways and focused on education and community service, you can improve your pardon application.

Pamela Richards

Early Career

Richards received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Ohio State University. Shortly after earning her degree, in 1981, Richards began her career working with the Department of Correction. Much like David May, the Board of Pardons and Paroles member that I talked about last week, Richards began her career as a Correction Officer and got promoted through the ranks. She got promoted to Correctional Treatment Officer, then Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Worker, and then Counselor Supervisor. After she worked as a Counselor Supervisor, Richards was promoted to Deputy Warden and was eventually made the Warden and then the Complex Warden of six facilities. Her different positions allowed her to gain a wealth of knowledge about community release, correctional facilities, and mental health treatment. She also gained experience managing gang offenders during her time with the Department of Correction. 


Upon retiring from the Department of Correction Richards became a program director with the North American Family Institute Stepping Stone program. This is a program that treats girls ages 12-17 who are on parole. This is a residential treatment facility, so the girls live together and get 24-hour assistance. 

Richards was appointed to the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 2008. As such, she is one of the longest standing Board of Pardons members who is still active on the Board. Her work with juveniles who are at risk and inmates make her values and beliefs similar to David May’s and many of the other board members on the Board of Pardons. By working with at risk children and volunteering in your community, you can make your pardon application stronger. 

Kelly Smayda

Early Career

Smayda enters her 8th year as a Board of Pardons member in 2016. She got appointed in 2008 and has served on the board ever since. Before becoming a member of the board, Smayda worked within the Connecticut Department of Correction. She got promoted many times throughout her career. After 20 years working with this department, she became deputy warden. During her time working for the Connecticut Department of Correction, Smayda took on many different jobs and tasks. These jobs include:

  • Overseeing treatment programs run by the institution for inmates. 
  • Approving inmates for community release programs. An example of this is working with inpatient treatment programs and halfway houses. 
  • Understanding and responding to inmate needs.
  • Helping inmates handle the challenges that they face when they are released from custody. 

Work with Board of Pardons

Smayda’s work background helps her understand the challenges that inmates face. Her educational background in Psychology and Legal Studies mean that she has a good understanding of the challenges that current and past inmates face. She uses this knowledge to help pardon applicants turn their lives around. To relate to Smayda in your pardon application, you can discuss the challenges that you faced upon your release from custody. Talk about how you overcame these obstacles to better your circumstances.

Patricia Thomas Camp

Early Career

Camp became a part-time Board of Pardons and Paroles member in October of 2014. Initially, Camp planned to retire after a long and productive career. Camp began her career as a public school teacher. Throughout her professional career, she continued to teach, even when she took on other jobs and roles. Her love of education was fostered during her own schooling. Camp earned her Bachelor’s degree from Rice University, and then went on to get her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston. After finishing her Master’s degree, Camp went to law school at the University of Chicago. When she finished her degree, she became the executive director of the Bar Association’s pro bono legal aid program for Cook County. This program gave 135 Cook County municipalities (including Chicago) free legal representation. 

Camp practiced several different types of law, including family law, corporate law, and criminal law, for 19 years. In addition, she worked closely with juvenile offenders and represented children who were in the custody of the state. 

Current Occupation

Camp recently moved to Connecticut with the intention of retiring, but after a short stint in retirement, she went back to teaching. While living in Connecticut, she has worked closely with issues such as homelessness and legal services. In 2014, she accepted a position on the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles. 

Camp’s varied background means that she brings a lot to the Board of Pardons. She has experience in the courtrooms and the classrooms, and has seen the strengths and weaknesses of these institutions. 

Terry Borjeson

Early Life

Terry Borjeson got appointed to the Board of Pardons and Paroles by Dannel Malloy in October 2014. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Fairfield University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. After finishing his education and before he became a Board of Pardons member, Borjeson spent 30 years working for the Connecticut Office of Adult Probation. Borjeson began his career as a probation officer, but he got promoted to Deputy Director after climbing the ranks. As Deputy Director, Borjeson oversaw every adult program in Connecticut. He also served as executive director for the New England Council on Crime and Delinquency. 

Retirement From State Service

After 30 years working with the Connecticut Office of Adult Probation, Borjeson retired from state service. He then turned his attention to building software for government entities such as probation and parole. He became the Vice President of Government Operations for a software company based in Massachusetts that did just this. Also, he worked for a non-profit organization. Some of the projects that he worked on at this organization include a DUI education program, a pardons project, and a work release program. 

Borjeson also worked on Performance-Based Standards for Community Corrections, a text used by the American Correctional Association National Accreditation Process. He was the primary author of the text as well as Committee Chair on the project. 

Current Occupation

Currently, Borjeson is an elected official in Newington, Connecticut. He is the Town Council Majority Leader, and he serves on the board of the Capitol Region Council of Government, in addition to serving on Connecticut’s Board of Pardons and Paroles. 

Borjeson’s experience with the Office of Adult Probation means that he should be able to understand your experience on parole or probation and recognize when you have taken the initiative to make positive improvements in your life.