The Senate Can Strengthen Criminal Justice Reforms

ARCHIVE ACTION. Review our analysis on the Senate's bill and amendments, here.


URGENT ACTION: Contact Your Senator to strengthen S2185, the Criminal Justice Reform bill: 

SUPPORT: Amendments 1, 8, 76, 100, 152, 114, 124, 129, 149, 134, 135

OPPOSE: Amendments 18, 24, 28, 87, 80, 5, 25,  60, 121, 29, 37, 40, 42

Find your state senator hereAdapt our e-mail template here. Record your outreach here.  

* * * ARCHIVE ACTION * * *

10/26 (Thu.--TODAY: CALL/EMAIL NOW), the State Senate will be voting on comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform legislation. While the bill has many good, thoughtful provisions, there is much that can still be improved. These can be addressed--but the window for that change is RIGHT NOW.

THURSDAY, the Senate is voting on a number of amendments to the bill and have the opportunity to strengthen the bill. Please communicate ASAP about these items (

Please email or call your state senator NOW and urge them to SUPPORT: 

  • Amendment 1 (Cyr), which would guarantee equal protections for LGBTQ prisoners
  • Amendment 8 (Barrett), which would protects the ability of prisoners to have in-person visitations
  • Amendment 76 (Keenan), which calls for treatment for imprisoned drug addicts
  • Amendment 100 (Hinds), which would require police to undergo implicit bias training
  • Amendments 114 and 124 (Creem) and Amendments 134 and 135 (Eldridge), which would curb the abusive practice of solitary confinement
  • Amendment 129 (Creem), which would repeal mandatory minimum sentences
  • Amendment 149 (Creem), which would allow current prisoners serving mandatory minimum sentences for crimes for which mandatory minimums have been repealed to be eligible for good conduct credits earned on and after the effective date of the law.
  • Amendment 152 (McGee), which would create a Justice Reinvestment Trust Fund to allow the savings from the decrease in incarceration to be redirected towards job training and programming for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration.

Please also urge your senator to OPPOSE:

  • Amendments 5 (Tarr) and 25 (Moore), which would reduce the felony theft threshold to $1,000
  • Amendments 18 (Rush), 60 (Tarr), and 121 (Tarr), which would re-impose mandatory minimum sentences that take discretion away from judges, where it belongs
  • Amendments 24 (Moore) and 87 (O’Connor), which would expand the use of invasive surveillance technologies
  • Amendment 29 (Moore), which would eliminate valuable juvenile justice improvements
  • Amendments 28 and 37 (Tarr), which would make anyone who shares drugs that result in death guilty of manslaughter, thereby creating the possibility that, in the event of an overdose, people sharing drugs would be hesitant to call for help
  • Amendment 40 (Tarr), which would leave in place a harsh 1980 law that denies prisoners serving mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes all possibility of participating in programs aimed at reducing recidivism while they are incarcerated
  • Amendments 42 and 80 (Tarr), which would retain current parole fees

With these positive amendments--and stopping the bad ones--added to the bill’s ending mandatory minimums for many crimes, reducing the CORI sealing time, ending the imprisonment of people unable to pay fines and fees, among others, Massachusetts has one of our best opportunities for significant criminal justice reforms, which will make a real difference in people's lives and address the serious issue of mass incarceration in Massachusetts.

Find your state senator hereAdapt our email template, here

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published this page in Issues 2017-10-27 10:28:21 -0400
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