Commuting Joshua Puckett’s Sentence

Understanding the Supporting and Opposing Perspectives to Commuting Joshua Puckett’s Sentence

View the Parole Risk Assessment Report by Dr. Steven R. Miller, Ph.D.

The supporting and opposing perspectives of Joshua Puckett’s release were compiled after an extensive case review including: psych evaluation by Dr. Steven R. Miller, Ph.D., review of Joshua’s institutional file and multiple interviews with family/supporters who keep in close contact with him. As we see it, these are our findings:

“Mr. Puckett’s parole plans are quite realistic, reasonable and attainable. Mr. Puckett appears to have an excellent support system in place with respect to his family and friends and furthermore, based on the clinical assessment data, he is predicted by this examiner to comply with all remediation attempts offered to him and to comply with all parole rules and requirements.”

– Dr. Steven R. Miller, PhD Parole Risk Assessment 6/7/2010

Favorable View

  • At every stage of the process, Joshua has shown consistent and absolute remorse for the crime and empathy for the victim’s family.
  • Has grown greatly since his conviction in November 1995.
  • Was convicted when he was 18 years old and this year will be 42 years old. 
  • Has a lot of public support (individual and groups, alike).
  • Has completed many educational training courses (i.e. horticulture training – which he has put into practice during his incarceration by working in countless greenhouses and on innovative projects in his field).
  • Has a number of family members and friends who are very supportive of his release and financially stable enough to provide support to him both emotionally and financially.
  • Substance abuse has not been an issue in the past. He has demonstrated sober living by being completely substance-free since his incarceration, as well as, completing various drug programs.
  • Has addressed anger management by participating in various programs offered by the MDOC such as “Cage your Rage” and “Crime Victims Awareness”. However, he has found his greatest breakthroughs in individual counseling and by participating in the documentary film being produced about the hate-related murders of his lesbian mothers.
  • Since incarceration, he has not had any serious assaults or demonstrated consistent aggressive behavior. He has no ticket history with respect to substance abuse, weapons or unsafe contraband.
  • Has mentored fellow inmates and personal acquaintances outside the prison system.
  • Has demonstrated positive leadership qualities by repeatedly serving on the Wardens Forum Committee and Prisoner Benefit Committee and assisting in the effort to balance the Inmate Benefit Fund.
  • Has employment and placement opportunities.
  • Despite the fact that gang life boasts a family-like environment, Josh gave up that lifestyle and left behind the distorted thinking of the “prison code” in order to have productive working relationships with staff (See Work reports/Block reports).
  • Currently taking courses to earn his associates degree: Will complete upon his release from prison. 

Unfavorable View

  • Has a natural life sentence of which he has only served 23 years.
  • Due to the length of sentence, he is currently prohibited from taking necessary classes such as, Phase 2 substance abuse in which you must be within 18 months of your Earliest Release Date (ERD) and Assaultive Offenders Program in which you must also be close to your ERD in order to participate.
  • He possesses a small amount of actual real-world work experience.
  • Both his natural mother and father are deceased (his father died of A.I.D.S 6 months prior to the murder of his mothers).
  • He has a juvenile record.