ACT NOW to Turn the Tide on Mass Incarceration

HRC.pngURGENT ACTION: Contact Your Senator to strengthen the Criminal Justice Reform bill

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

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

Tomorrow (Thu 10/26), the State Senate will be voting on comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform legislation.

The bill has many good, thoughtful provisions that will make a real difference in people's lives and address the serious issue of mass incarceration in Massachusetts—ending mandatory minimums for many crimes, reducing the CORI sealing time, ending the imprisonment of people unable to pay fines and fees, among others.

However, there are still areas that need improvement. And that’s where you come in.

The Senate will be voting on a number of amendments, a major opportunity to strengthen the bill.

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

  • Amendment 1 (Cyr), which would guarantee equal protections for LGBTQ prisoners

  • Amendment 8 (Barrett), which would protect the ability of prisoners to have in-person visitations

  • Amendment 76 (Keenan), which would enable access to appropriate treatment for opioid addiction for addicts while incarcerated

  • 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would allow current prisoners serving mandatory minimum sentences for crimes for which mandatory minimums have been repealed to be eligible for good conduct credits earned on and after the effective date of the law.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 reimpose mandatory minimum sentences, taking discretion away from judges

  • 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



*Amendment 114 (Creem): Calls for reviews every 3 months (instead of every 6 months) on a prisoner who has been confined to solitary confinement in order to determine eligibility of release into general population.

Amendment 124 (Creems): Defines restrictive housing as 21 hours in a cell and requires 2 hours out of cell programming for inmates confined to restrictive housing.

Amendment 134 (Eldridge): Limits restrictive housing to no longer than six months.

Amendment 135 (Eldridge): Requires that any inmate put in restrictive housing be allowed a multi-disciplinary review to determine the appropriateness of the placement and that at least 1 member of the security staff, 1 member of the programming staff, and 1 member of the mental health staff be appointed to the review panel.

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