Monthly Archives: July 2014

Powerful video to end the state of incarcer-nation in Massachusetts

This concise powerful informative video explains my motivation to end mass incarceration.

Watch it and share with your people. Then sign up with me and EMIT to reform justice in Massachusetts, one law at a time.  emit.susan @ gmail . com 

We must continue to connect with our state legislators and congressional representatives about changing laws they and their predecessors put in place that has made the USA an incarcer-nation. 

We have only 5 percent of world population and more incarcerated people than any country on the planet, with 25 percent of all people who are incarcerated. Thanks to Wendy for sharing. She is one of the wonderful activists I’ve met this year in the march together toward justice, because we can only succeed together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xj8rAU_zbs

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Give young offenders a break- show your support

The Redeem Act is being proposed in the U.S. Senate to wipe clean the records of non-violent juvenile delinquents. 
 
Here is the link for folks to sign their name: http://act.corybooker.com/page/s/criminal-justice-reform?source=em140708

 

Life after life

Mass. commissioner of Corrections Luis Spencer says his biggest expense, after staff salaries,is medical care for an aging population.

NPR did a story, Life After Life, on how Colorado is handling this giant problem, that’s only going to further bloat our corrections costs. For every 14 people released, it saves the state an estimated $1 million. 

See more here: http://www.npr.org/2014/06/04/317055077/life-after-life-aging-inmates-struggle-for-redemption

Rally for Justice- Tuesday July 8, Hall of Flags 10 am

Over the past 4+ years as a prison volunteer, the most acute awareness I bring home is a sense of freedom.

This weekend as we celebrate freedom and justice, our state senators on Beacon Hill are preparing to debate h4184 on Tuesday, an act relative to juvenile justice [to keep young offenders in jail longer], with an amendment that would setback parole hearings for long-time inmates from every five years to every ten years.

Bottom line is more people, usually poor, black, brown and often mentally ill, will spend more time in prison. We will spend less on education, roads, and health care while incarcerating people at $48K a year, and more.

Join us at a rally Tuesday, 7/8, 10 am in the Hall of Flags at the Statehouse, followed by visits to your state senators. Training and talking points provided.

Call or email your senator http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
as well as the senate leaders below. It takes less than 5 minutes. Live people often answer the phone.

The legislative session ends July 31, and so will this torrent of emails urging you to act. THANKS for your support of freedom. Forward this message to a few friends.

​This bill may be up for Senate Debate Tuesday, July 8Therefore, if you haven’t called, we need you to call speak with your Senator as well as Senate leadership (below) THIS WEEK to let them know that they should support fair sentencing for youth and oppose H.4184. Please urge friends, allies and others to call as well!

CONTACT YOUR OWN SENATOR and leadership with this message:

1. Youth should have an initial opportunity to seek parole no later than 15 YEARS into their sentence. REMEMBER: Eligibility is NOT a guarantee to secure parole, just an opportunity to be reviewed!

2. Everyone should be eligible for further parole hearings, if needed, no later than every 5 YEARS. 10 year setbacks are too extreme.

In addition to your senator, call or email:
Calling takes less than 5 minutes- they want to get rid of you fast!

Sen. Ways and Means Chair Steven Brewer, D-Barre:
617-722-1540 Stephen.Brewer@masenate.gov

Senate Judiciary Chair, William Brownsberger (D. Belmont):
617-722-1280, William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

President Therese Murray (D. Plymouth):
617-722-1500, Therese.Murray@masenate.gov

Majority Leader Stanley C. Rosenberg (D. Amherst):
617-722-1532, Stan.Rosenberg@masenate.gov

We need your voices to be heard. TIME IS RUNNING SHORT, SO PLEASE CALL TODAY!

Sincerely,
Citizens for Juvenile Justice​

Justice in Mass. — one step at a time

Luckily, when we’re opposing a bill, it takes many steps to become law. Right now the Mass. legislature is heating up for the end of the session July 31 and approving the state budget, so the pot is boiling over with legislators pushing laws through.

We must stop H4184 in its tracks. This dastardly bill, which puts more people in prison needlessly, for longer, passed the House. We must call and email and visit lawmakers to prevent it from being heard in the Senate. Here’s what to do, and who to call, thank to activists Patty Garin and Jean Trounstine.

The Massachusetts Senate has still not met concerning H.4184.  And we do not have a definitive day the bill will be heard. We are facing a crisis in Massachusetts juvenile sentencing and parole policies. We need your help!

Public pressure helps, we know that, and so far we have done well, but we need to keep it up!  THIS IS A CRUCIAL TIME FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE. We are once again asking those of you who have not called to please do so this week. Those who have called, please follow up with emails.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW.

THIS ACT CONCERNS JUVENILE SENTENCING AND PAROLE SETBACKS FOR ALL LIFERS. H.4184 would thwart the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling that sentencing children to life in prison violates the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. The bill would require that a juvenile convicted of murder (other than “felony-murder”) serve a minimum of 25 years before becoming eligible for consideration for parole; juveniles convicted of felony murder would serve a minimum of 20 years. This bill would result in de facto life sentences for young people.

Also, H.4184 bill would allow the Parole Board to impose a 10-year wait – double the current 5-year setback – before an individual who has been denied parole can go before the board again. THIS UNPRECEDENTED TEN YEAR SETBACK APPLIES TO ALL PERSONS SERVING LIFE SENTENCES – THOSE SENTENCED AS ADULTS AS WELL AS THOSE SENTENCED AS JUVENILES.

CONTACT YOUR OWN SENATOR https://bitly.com/yourMAlegislators at the State House or in their district offices AND MAKE AT LEAST THREE OTHER CALLS, with this message:

WE WANT 15/5 and WE OPPOSE H.4184:
1.   Youth should have an initial opportunity to seek parole no later than *15 YEARS* into their sentence.
2.   Everyone should be eligible for further parole hearings, if needed, no later than every *5 YEARS*. Remember eligibility does not guarantee parole only opportunity.

CALL
Senate Judiciary Chair, William Brownsberger (D., Belmont): 617-722-1280William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

Senate Chair of Ways & Means, Stephen Brewer (D. Barre): 617-722-1540Stephen.Brewer@masenate.gov

Senate President Therese Murray (D. Plymouth): 617-722-1500Therese.Murray@masenate.gov

Majority Leader Stanley C. Rosenberg (D. Amherst): 617-722-1532Stan.Rosenberg@masenate.gov

We hope many you will CALL and EMAIL to urge Senate leadership to reject these extreme sentencing and parole provisions. There will be more info as we hear about it but for now PLEASE ACT THIS WEEK — of July 1, 2014.