Time for Bold Criminal Justice Reform

When I talk to allies on Beacon Hill, they say that criminal justice reform is going to be one of the top issues the Legislature takes up this fall. But whether it will be real reform, or just tinkering around the edges, remains to be seen. Massachusetts needs to turn the tide on a failed “tough on crime” paradigm that has wreaked havoc on communities and fueled mass incarceration without making us any safer.

And that’s where you come in.

Representative Claire Cronin, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, is planning to meet with every state rep about the bills in her committee. She needs to hear from her constituents and her fellow representatives that Massachusetts wants real reform.

Call your state representative today and ask them to tell Chairwoman Cronin that Massachusetts wants bold criminal justice reform this fall.

Here’s a sample script to use. Feel free to personalize it and explain why the issue is important to you.

My name is [NAME], and I’m from [BLANK]. The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to take up criminal justice reform this fall, and it is important that we take bold action to address the systemic racial and economic inequalities of our criminal justice system, rather than resort to tinkering around the edges. I urge you to meet with Chairwoman Claire Cronin of the Judiciary Committee and recommend that the Committee advance the following bills:

H.741, which would repeal mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug-related offenses and give discretion back to judges

H.967, which would raise the felony threshold so that people’s lives are not ruined for small offenses

H.2359, which would end excessive probation and parole fees so that we don’t criminalize poverty and turn our jails into debtors’ prisons

H.2308, the gold standard omnibus bill that combines these and other reforms and reinvests the savings into job training and expanded economic opportunities

You don’t need to explain every little detail about the bills to the aide or legislator over the phone--they just need to know the bill numbers and why you care about the issue.

Have a question about any of these bills? Check out our fact sheet here.

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published this page in The Latest 2017-09-05 10:16:09 -0400
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