Tag Archives: end mass incarceration

Justice & Equity Conference Saturday

When:          Sat., Oct 1, 9:30 Registration, 10 am to 2:00 PM – Lunch Included.
Where:         All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
                        196 Elm St,, Braintree – Handicap accessible, Free.
Who:              YOU – open to the public, along with activists

This is a crucial time in the struggle for equity, issues of faith and the need for action.

Presenters will discuss justice and corrections reform in Massachusetts and the anticipated impact of the Council of State Government Study with recommended reform in Dec. 2016.
Hear from a formerly incarcerated person on what it’s like to be at the mercy of the Commonwealth’s justice system; as well as alternatives to courts and prison, such as restorative justice, and what you can do to support sane alternatives.
Another panel inform people on the progress of the Fair Share Amendment and what you can do help get this passed.

Join us for lively discussion and plan to the next steps on how individuals, groups and congregations can join the movement for justice.
Save the date – What do sheriffs do and why should I care?
When:         Monday, Oct. 24, 7-8 pm
Where:         From the comfort of your own home
Call in:         605 475 5900  access 618-9987#
 
Why:            Find out how the 14 county sheriffs in Mass. impact the county jails and who                             is up for election.
Who:           Activist Angel Cosme of Brockton Interfaith  will share information on why                               voters must care about this powerful role that impacts incarceration and                                    recidivism.

Has anyone ever died of a pot overdose?

Hear some reasons why marijuana legalization and regulation in Massachusetts makes sense on this free statewide phone call on Ballot Question 4 on Monday, Sept. 19, 7-8 pm 
 
Call in: 515 739 1020,  157277#
There will be time for Q&A of our guest speaker Bill Downing, a member of MASS CANN/NORML, a public-education organization that has been educating in preparation for marijuana decriminalization, medical and full regulation since 1989.
Question 4 for is the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana. If voters say YES , Massachusetts will join Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia in legalizing and regulating marijuana for recreational use.
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The speaker in the Sept. 23 event below is Rev. Dr. Harold Dean “Doc” Trulear is formerly incarcerated. His church community rallied around him to welcome him home after incarceration. He will inspire you to reach out to others returning home to avoid the high rate of re-offense, and the many barriers to successful re-entry after prison.

Please share this with your communities.
You are invited to a workshop on

Prison Ministry: Forming Networks for Connection, Growth and Healing

at the First Parish Church, Unitarian Universalist

50 School Street, Bridgewater, MA

Friday, September 23, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Free and open to all. Lunch included.

Let’s learn together: 

  • To open our hearts to the incarcerated and to their families, friends and all who are working with them
  • To embrace and provide understanding to the incarcerated and members of communities working with them, whether they be congregational, academic, political or institutional
  • To collaborate and learn to build networks with others supporting prisoners
  • To form networks and support systems across all boundaries

 First Parish is honored to host this workshop, led by Rev. Dr. Harold Dean “Doc” Trulear, in collaboration with Messiah Baptist Church of Brockton. Dr. Trulear is Associate Professor of Applied Theology at Howard University and Director of the Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Prisoner Reentry Project of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation.

To register:

Go to the workshop registration form: http://tinyurl.com/hbjyxrx

Or email: firstprincipleproject@gmail.com with your name and affiliated congregation or organization.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Susan A. Holton, 508-821-2034firstprincipleproject@gmail.com;

Betty Gilson, 774-226-0942gillyflower@verizon.net;

or Rev. Rachel Tedesco, 508-944-6436revrayted@comcast.net

PEW study might do some good in MA

Alaska Draws Up Plans to Reduce Expanding Prison Population
Date:  01-20-2016

Recommendations include re-examining the bail bond system and revising drug laws

The Alaska Dispatch News reported that the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission has released recommendations on how to curb the state’s overly populated prison system. The Commission was aided byPew Charitable Trusts in drawing up the plans.

According to the Dispatch News, besides collecting data to measure the effectiveness of new laws and policies, and installing an oversight council, the recommendations include:

  • Expanding the use of citations in place of arrests for low-level, nonviolent offenses.
  • Deciding whether to release someone before trial based on the likelihood they’ll return for subsequent hearings or commit other crimes, instead of on their ability to pay a monetary bond. A review of court files showed the majority of cases required some type of monetary bond and “52 percent of sampled defendants were detained for the entirety of their pretrial period,” the report says.
  • Focusing resources on high-risk defendants — those who are “most likely to fail” or reoffend, the report says. More restrictive release conditions would be reserved for these offenders.
  • Limiting the use of prison space for low-level misdemeanor offenders by reclassifying some misdemeanors and violations, including changing disorderly conduct laws to allow for arrests but limit jail time to 24 hours, among other changes, the report says.
  • Revising drug penalties to focus the most severe punishments on serious drug crimes. Among the specific actions recommended, lawmakers are encouraged to reclassify the simple possession of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine as a misdemeanor.
  • Implementing a specialty parole option for long-term, geriatric inmates.
  • Incentivizing treatment for sex offenders with sentence reductions for completing treatment

Mental health and Michelle Alexander

Join EMIT on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Maynard Town Hall, 195 Main Street, to discuss how mental health is treated in prisons, and the relationship to drug addiction. Joining in the conversation are police chiefs from Arlington, Hudson, and Maynard as well as Sarah Abbott, director of the jail diversion program for Advocates, Inc. Three legislators will weigh in on the discussion: State Senator Jamie Eldridge, and State Representatives Sean Garballey and Kate Hogan.

The event is 7-830 pm with light refreshments, and is free and open to the public. The cosponsors are the Maynard and Hudson Democratic Town Committees.

Join EMIT on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6-7:30 pm at the Hazlett Room of the Winthrop Public Library,  2 Metcalf Square for a showing of the 23-minute TEDx talk by Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” A discussion will follow, with free refreshments offered.

Sponsored by EMIT and hosted by the Winthrop Public Library. For information on either event, contact emit.susan@gmail.com, 978-772-3930.

Save the date: June 9 Judiciary Committee hearing at Gardner Auditorium, Statehouse 1pm

To support criminal justice reform, you can contact members of the Judiciary Committee of Massachusetts before the June 9 hearing and if possible, attend hearing at Gardner auditorium at 1 pm. EPOCA will be sponsoring buses and possibly a rally before the hearing.

Justice will be restored and our prison population reduced ONLY through a series of bills passed over a number of years. In January, state legislators introduced many bills for justice reform for the 2015-16 session on Beacon Hill. The next step is for the Judiciary Committee [and other committees] to hold hearings and a favorable reference for each bill so it can be debated and voted on the floors of the Senate and House on Beacon Hill.

You can have impact by attending the hearing, and/or through  calls, letters and especially face-to-face visits with your legislator. See this link for a list of Judiciary Committee members. Even if your legislator is not on the Judiciary Committee, you can still call and write to the members and advocate they support reform.

Here are some of the bills supported by EMIT and maybe heard on June 9, 2015. For a complete list of bills, go here.  fact sheets on each bill, go here.

    1. Repeal Mandatory Minimums – (S 786 Creem) (H 1620 Swan) to allow judges to determine sentences to fit the crime for drug offenders. These laws contribute to the cost of prison and jails, and to their overcrowding.
    2. Pre-trial and Bail reform – (S 802 Donnelly) (H 1584 Sannicandro), to transition from a bail system based on ability to pay, to a system to determine if someone is not a danger to others, and will show up for court.
    3. Implement restorative justice programs – (S 71 Eldridge) (H 1313 Garbally), to provide an opportunity for offenders to repair the harm caused by the event, as opposed to punishment and incarceration.
    4. Extraordinary Medical Placement – (S 843 Jehlen) (H 1628 Toomey), to release terminally ill inmates to the community. The state spends an inordinate amount of resources to care for seriously ill incarcerated people who are no longer are a threat to public safety. We are one of the few states without this law.
    5. End collateral sanctions at the Registry of Motor Vehicles – (S 1812 Chandler) (H 3039 Malia), to remove the penalty that a drug offender loses driving privileges for up to five years and pays $500 or more to reinstate.
    6. An act to Increase Neighborhood Safety and Opportunity – (S 64 Chang-Diaz) (H 1429 Keefe). This Omnibus Bill will improve the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system, and re-invest in education and job training.
    7. Caregivers bill—(H 1382 Holmes) to establish community-based sentencing alternatives for primary caretakers of dependent children, charged with non-violent crimes, to alleviate harm to families and communities.
    8. Solitary confinement – (S 1255 Eldridge) (H 1475 Malia) to ensure appropriate use of segregation in prisons and jails that will also reduce recidivism and curb unnecessary spending.

Join us at the Statehouse June 9, 1 pm hearing to support criminal justice reform in Massachusetts

Campaign to Greatly Lessen Mass Incarceration

Increasing Treatment for Drug Offenders and Decreasing Incarceration, Keep Families Together, Lessen Crime in Our Neighborhoods, Redemption and Second Chances and Jobs for Ex-Prisoners, Save Taxpayers money

COME to THE HEARING on legislation to lessen mass incarceration, lessen crime, and increase jobs    Tuesday June 9 at 1:00 in Room B-1 State House in Boston

CALL YOUR State Senator TODAY and ask him or her to have the hearing moved to the Gardner Auditorium to insure there is sufficient room for all attendees.

Too many people go to prison who instead need drug treatment, mental health services, and/or jobs.   The consequences are huge when we otherwise send people to prison; scarring individuals, harming families, increasing crime in communities, increasing costs to all taxpayers. Incarceration also disproportionately affects African-Americans and Latinos.  We need to be “smart” on crime to increase safety and opportunity.

The legislation we are working for is the Justice Reinvestment Act: An Act to Increase Neigbhorhood Safety and Opportunity, House 1429 and Senate 64.

  1. End Mandatory Minimum Sentences for drug offenders and restore that decision to judges who can examine the facts and circumstances of the case….this will lead to more people being sent to drug treatment instead of prison.
  2. End the $500 fine to regain your driver’s license if convicted of a drug offense; it’s an unfair burden to put on people trying to go forward after prison.
  3. Change some felonies into misdemeanors like raising the threshold for felony larceny from $250 to $1250. Lessening sentences for drug possession, but not for possession with intent to distribute (drug dealing).
  4. Compassionate release of long term prisoners with terminal illnesses
  5. Bail Reform so people’s bail is based on their showing up for trial not based on whether they can afford to raise the bail funds.
  6. Jobs—The funds saved from lessening numbers in prison and lessening the length of sentences would go into a fund for jobs and job training.

The Jobs Not Jails Coalition is organizing for passage of this law.  This includes community groups, labor unions, religious based groups, ex-prisoners groups.  We are building allies to from law enforcement and elected officials.

For more info, contact: Steve O’Neill of EPOCA (508) 410-7676 steve@exprisoners.org,      Lew Finfer of MCAN: (617) 470-2912 LewFinfer@gmail.com,         Rev. Paul Ford of BWA  RevFord@BostonWorkersAlliance.org (617) 955-0559,  Elena Letona of Neighbor to Neighbor (617) 997-7503  Elena@N2NMA.org, Rev. Laura Ahart, Black Ministerial Alliance  (857) 492-1634

 Justice Reinvestment   Senate Bill 64                   House Bill 1429

 An Act to Increase Neighborhood Safety and Opportunity

Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Boston) and Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester) and 55 co-sponsoring legislators have filed an omnibus bill backed by a large coalition of community, religious, and union organizations to improve Massachusetts’ systems of criminal justice, end mass incarceration, and re-invest in our communities through job and educational opportunity.   Included in the bill are:

Criminal Justice Reforms

  • Repeal Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences – This would restore judicial discretion in sentencing for drug charges, reducing the risk of longer than warranted prison terms;
  • Reduce Certain Low-Level Felonies to Misdemeanors – Under this scenario certain offenses (such as shoplifting or other petty theft, or low-level drug charges) would be made misdemeanors, with different sanctions that rely less on long and expensive terms of incarceration;
  • End Collateral Sanctions at the RMV – This would eliminate the current law allowing the Registry of Motor Vehicles to confiscate the license of a person convicted of any drug offense (even where charges are unrelated to the operation of a vehicle) for up to 5 years and charge at least $500 to reinstate it; and
  • Extraordinary Medical Placement – This would allow a judge to decide whether a person who is permanently incapacitated or terminally ill should be transferred out of prison for treatment, remaining under state custody.
  • Bail Reform—though not in this bill, we are also supporting a separate Bail Reform Bill so people are no longer in prison just because they could not raise bail for less serious crimes\
  • Jobs and Schools The final sections of the bill establish a Trust fund with the cost savings from these improvements in the criminal justice system. Trust funds will be used to right our unbalanced economy by investing in evidence-based practices including job development efforts for youth, veterans, victims of violence, and other people with significant barriers to employment, and supporting programs that help at-risk youth to stay in school.
  • Programs supported by the Trust will include:
  • Job training programs to address the skills gaps identified by Massachusetts industry leaders;
  • Transitional job and pre-apprenticeship programs to prepare people for today’s workforce and place them in good, living-wage jobs;
  • Youth jobs that provide both sustenance and experience;
  • Initiatives to create new jobs through social enterprises, coops, and other businesses; and
  • Evidence-based programs that specialize in drop-out prevention and recovery, giving youth a second chance at academic achievement and setting them on a path to success.
  • NOTE: Legislators are also filing many of the above sections as separate, individual bills: Mandatory minimums: Sen. Creem and Rep. Swan;  Extraordinary Medical Placement: Sen. Jehlen and Rep. Toomey;  RMV Collateral Sanctions: Sen. Chandler and Rep. Malia.

For more info, contact: Steve O’Neill of EPOCA (508) 410-7676 steve@exprisoners.org,      Lew Finfer of MCAN: (617) 470-2912 LewFinfer@gmail.com,         Rev. Paul Ford of BWA  RevFord@BostonWorkersAlliance.org (617) 955-0559,  Elena Letona of Neighbor to Neighbor (617) 997-7503  Elena@N2NMA.org, Rev. Laura Ahart, Black Ministerial Alliance  (857) 492-1634

Next steps toward reforming the Mass. justice system

THANKS TO YOU, regular voters who care, EMIT and UU Mass Action Network, delivered 700-plus

Massachusetts statehouse and state legislators have passed dozens of bills to fill our prisons and  jails. These bills often discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, income, social class, education, mental health and drug and substance addiction and abuse

The Statehouse is where we need to encourage lawmakers to pass a series of bills over a number of years to untangle the injustice of mass incarceration in Massachusetts.

letters to state lawmakers in January 2015 asking them to cosponsor criminal justice reform, especially to end mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level drug offenses and to reform pre-trial practices — what happens when someone gets arrested, and on what basis do we decide to incarcerate them, without being found guilty.

Reaching out to state lawmakers, especially representatives in face-to-face meetings, is one of the most effective ways to make our voice heard in future laws. This is the goal of EMIT.

We especially need voters to visit with state representatives in Springfield, New Bedford and Fall River, Plymouth-Cape Cod-The Islands, and Cape Ann/The North Shore. Can you join us? Please email emit.susan at g mail dot com. Our strategy is simple and issues can easily be understood and communicated to state legislators.

Thanks to the leadership of the State Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, the 40 members of the State Senate may be on board with criminal justice reform this legislative session. In 2015, we must focus on the 160 state representatives, and meet with them personally, in their home districts, with constituents like you and a few friends. You can meet at the public library or town hall for 30 minutes and share your urgency to end mass incarceration now.

EMIT is also co-sponsoring events to inform to reform so people feel more knowledgeable when meeting with state representatives.

Save March 28 in Amherst, 10 am to 2 pm at the UCC Church, 165 Main St. Featured speakers are Sen. Stan Rosenberg, who will give more details on justice reinvestment and State Sen. Jamie Eldridge who will describe some pending criminal justice reform bills. Formerly incarcerated people will share their stories, and participants will have time to network. Sponsored by EMIT and Social Justice Committee of Amherst UCC.

Save March 12 in New Bedford and April 16 in Springfield for additional events. More info to come.

In Arlington, on Saturday, March 14, 1-4:30 pm, attend a Road Map towards Justice: How to End Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts, at First Parish Unitarian Universalist 630 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington.

Come learn about the bills related to mass incarceration and prison reform that might become law in the next two years, and how you can help make our criminal justice system more fair and effective.  You will hear from experts, receive fact sheets, and have time to connect with others and digest what you are learning.  Speakers include Rep. Dave Rogers, Rep. Sean Garballey, Barbara Dougan, Andrea James, Jon Tetherly, and EPOCA members.  Refreshments served too!

RSVPs to end-mass-incarceration@firstparish.info are appreciated but not required.

This interactive workshop is organized by the Mass Incarceration Working Group of First Parish Arlington and co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, End Mass Incarceration Together, EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement), Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP,

Join us Nov. 15 in Northboro with Sen. Jamie Eldridge

Ending Mass Incarceration, part of "The New Jim Crow" in Massachusetts, is part of criminal justice reform, led by State Sen. Stan Rosenburg, D Amherst. We must work together in Mass. to reform our criminal justice system and end the systematic incarceration of black, brown, poor, mentally ill and addicted people.

State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, is a progressive senator who constantly advocates for the underprivileged, to protect the environment and for civil liberty.

Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, and Rebecca Miller, aide to Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, will preview upcoming legislation for the 2015 legislative session and give inside information on how to connect with and influence our state legislators.

The meeting gets rolling at 10:45 am with registration and coffee. The program starts promptly at 11 am and ends at 1 pm. Light refreshments served. Free. Handicapped accessible. Plenty of parking. If you need a lift from public transit – Green Line to MetroWest Transit, please contact susan . tordella at g mail . com.

Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/end-mass-incarceration-training-tickets-13678989225

Bring friends who are outraged by the injustice of mass incarceration. Please share this notice with your networks.

We are building an ecumenical

statewide grassroots network to influence state legislators to pass a series of bills to return justice for all to Massachusetts, from revising pre-trial services to ending mandatory minimum sentencing.

Join a chorus of statewide advocacy groups working on this issue. We are stronger with many voices singing together loudly in many harmonies.

ACTION ALERT: Oppose appointment of Joshua Wall as superior court judge

Joshua Wall, nominated  for superior court judge by Gov. Patrick, will come before the Governor’s Council Sept. 17 at 10 am, Room 157 of the Statehouse on Beacon Hill, Boston.  If you’re like me, you’re thinking “Governor’s council? Who and what are they?”

You vote for them and according to Marilyn Pettino Devaney, District 3 representative for parts of Middlesex County, who returned my call, the Council exists as a check and balance to the appointments made by the Governor.

The Council has the power to deny approval to Joshua Wall, and prevent him from becoming a judge. Wall reportedly regularly broke the golden rule: Treat others as you wish be to treated when interacting with offenders during his service on the Parole Board.

Learn more on his troubled nomination in this WBUR story.  There are multiple reports from many sources of Walls’ poor attitude and disrespect toward incarcerated people who applied for parole, something most incarcerated people face with severe dread and fearful anticipation.

It seems that Wall’s attitude reflects that of American society that has delivered mass incarceration, and made the USA the most incarcerating nation in the world. European nations jail one of every 750 citizens, compared to the USA, which jails one of every 100 citizens.

Overturning the system of mass incarceration rests on a thousand little decisions, such as opposing the appointment of an incarcer-nation judge like Joshua Walls. Take a minute to identify your Governor’s Council representative. Then ask or leave a voice mail, “What is your position on Joshua Wall’s nomination? Why have you taken that stand?” 

Marilyn called me right back to explain that she opposed his appointment to the Parole Board, which makes decisions on whether incarcerated people deserve to be released or given a setback. She was investigating his qualifications for the judgeship and hasn’t made up her mind. She has received calls both pro and con for Wall.

Make your voice heard. Asking questions is especially effective. Let your councilor do most of the talking. Your input can start to turn the ocean liner of our corrupt judicial system that sends a disproportionate number of black, brown, poor and often mentally ill people to prison for long sentences. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts now spends more on incarceration than on higher education, not to mention the waste of lives of people stuck in prison for decades for trivial drug offenses.

We need you to do three things, provided by CEPS, a Massachusetts group, Coalition for Effective Public Safety.

1.  CALL, EMAIL, WRITE, OR VISIT YOUR GOVERNOR’S COUNCILOR AND TELL HIM OR HER TO VOTE “NO” ON THE WALL NOMINATION. Remember, you elect your Governor’s Councilor every two years and the next election for all councilors is this November 4, 2014.

Tell your councilor you are a constituent and you want a “NO” vote cast on Josh Wall’s judicial nomination. Your councilor’s contact information is at the end of this email. Councilors are in the statehouse every Wednesday for in-person visits by constituents and are available at their home offices on other days.

2. ATTEND THE HEARING ON SEPTEMBER 17th and sign in as part of the opposition.

3. FORWARD THIS EMAIL to others who may be interested. We have attached the letter being sent to the Governor’s Councilors.

TELL YOUR COUNCILOR THAT, BASED ON HIS PAST CONDUCT, JOSH WALL WILL NOT BE A FAIR JUDGE:

    –  A constant theme of the complaints about this Parole Board is that Wall does not show respect to prisoners or their families during parole hearings. He often behaves unnecessarily arrogant, confrontational, condescending, dismissive, and insulting towards prisoners and their families. He often is disrespectful to the law students and attorneys who represent the prisoners at parole hearings.

–  Under Chairman Wall, there has been a significant increase in the number of prisoners who “waive” their parole hearings, i.e. decline the opportunity to appear before the Board. This is largely because many prisoners have decided not to attend a hearing when there is little prospect of being granted parole and a high likelihood that they or their loved ones will be treated with disrespect.

    –  Evidence of Wall’s disrespect for prisoners and their families is also shown in his failure to issue timely decisions. Under the Wall Board, lifers and their families have waited an average of 9 months for the Board to issue a decision in their cases. Prior Parole Boards issued their lifer decisions within 60 days.

These are not characteristics the public wishes to see in a judge who must act with impartiality, patience and professionalism. Josh Wall should not be rewarded for his poor conduct as the Chairman of the Parole Board.

As a judge, Wall would have even more power and more opportunity to disrespect the attorneys or defendants who come before him. Furthermore, he would be charged with ruling on motions that could limit defendants’ ability to present a defense and his conduct in the courtroom could negatively impact how juries view defendants during trial.

Most concerning, he would be pronouncing sentences for criminal defendants – the very people for whom he has already shown no respect as the Parole Board Chair.
PLEASE VISIT, EMAIL, WRITE, OR CALL YOUR GOVERNOR’S COUNCILOR. Stories that show Chairman Wall’s disrespect for our clients, their families and their advocates are very helpful because one of the issues the Council is concerned about is judicial temperament, including respect for all parties. (FYI – Josh Wall’s term of office as Parole Board chair is up on June 2, 2015.)

The contact info for the members of the Governor’s Council is below. If you have time, please send your stories and comments to all of them, not just your Councilor. YOUR EFFORTS COULD REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Signed,
Members of the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Effective Public Safety
To find out the name of your councilor go to:

http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx

1.  Oliver P. Cipollini, Jr. – District 1
20 Biscayne Drive
Marstons Mills, MA 02648
GC: 617-725-4015, ext. 1
Res: 508-428-8782
Fax: 617-727-6610
Email: ocipollini@aol.com

2.   Robert L. Jubinville – District 2
487 Adams Street
Milton, MA 02186
GC: 617-725-4015, ext. 2
Bus: 800-828-9010
Fax: 617-698-8004
Email: Jubinville@comcast.net

3.   Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney – District 3
98 Westminster Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472
GC: 617-725-4015 ext. 3
Cell: 617-840-7689
Fax: 617-727-6610
Email: marilynpetittodevaney@gmail.com

4.    Christopher A. Iannella – District 4
263 Pond Street
Boston, MA 02130
GC: 617-725-4015 ext. 4
Bus: 617-227-1538
Fax: 617-742-1424
Email: caiannella@aol.com

5.    Eileen R. Duff – District 5
8 Barberry Heights Road
Gloucester, MA 01930
GC: 617-725-4015 ext. 5
Res: 978-927-8700
Fax: 617-727-6610
Email: eileenduff3@gmail.com

6.   Terrence W. Kennedy – District 6
3 Stafford Road
Lynnfield, MA 01940
GC: 617-725-4015, ext. 6
Bus: 617-387-9809
Fax: 617-727-6610
Email: twklaw@aol.com

7.    Jennie L. Caissie – District 7
53 Fort Hill Road
Oxford, MA 01540
GC: 617-725-4015, ext. 7
Bus: 508-765-0885
Fax: 508-765-0888
Email: jcaissie@caplettelaw.com.com

8.    Michael J. Albano – District 8
403 Maple Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
GC: 617-725-4015 ext. 8
Bus: 413-525-4438
Fax: 413-525-4887
Email: albanom@the-spa.com

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.