Incarcerated people who are terminally ill or permanently incapacitated can access free representation from the Compassionate Release legal clinic staffed by Boston University School of Law students until June 2019.
Founded and operated by Ruth Greenberg, the goal of the clinic is to provide free legal counsel for every terminally ill, or permanently incapacitated, inmate to insure he or she has an advocate to be released from prison.
“Terminal illness,” as defined in the new Criminal Justice Reform Act, is a diagnosis of likely to die in 18 months. “Permanent incapacitation” means physically or cognitively so debilitated as to not pose a public safety risk.
If you know an inmate that could benefit from clinic representation at no cost, please help the inmate contact Ruth Greenberg, 450b Paradise Rd 166, Swampscott MA 01907, telephone 781-632-5959, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see this LINK for more information. Massachusetts is one of the last states to provide medical release for people who are debilitated in prison.
at the address or phone below for these free services.
For all tireless justice and corrections systems advocates, H 4011, An Act to Reform Criminal Justice, is poised to be debated by the Mass. House of Representatives Nov. 12, 13, 14. Here are the latest amendments EMIT is advocating for. You can copy and paste and email to your state rep. Find your state rep here.
NOW IS THE TIME to email your state rep! Don’t wait. We expect legislators to finalize it by Nov. 17. Even if you’ve previously contacted your rep, the amendments and sponsors are NEW. Encourage him/her to co-sponsor & support them.
Dear Rep ___,
As your constituent, I urge you to vote for H4011, and to co-sponsor and advocate for the following amendments, to rebuild lives, prevent incarceration, and save money. Justice reform is bi-partisan and the Omnibus Bill offers a huge opportunity for all of us.
These amendments would enhance the bill significantly:
• Felony larceny threshold – Rep. Linsky: Taise the level of what constitutes a felony to $1,500 — the level it would almost be if the threshold had kept up with inflation;
• Fines and Fees – Rep. Keefe: Eliminate parole fees, and also public counsel fees for people who are indigent;
• Justice reinvestment — Rep. O’Day: Track the savings generated from reducing the prison population, and reinvest half of it in job training, job placement, and other supports to further reduce unemployment and recidivism;
• Juvenile diversion — Rep. Cahill: Allow statewide pre-arraignment diversion for young people;
• Juvenile expungement — Reps. Dykema, Khan and Decker: Strengthen the House bill’s expungement provisions; Rep. Khan is filing an amendment to allow some juvenile records to be sealed in 4 years (rather than 10);
• Mandatory minimums #1 – Reps. Carvalho and Keefe: Repeal mandatory minimums for all non-violent drug sentences;
• Mandatory minimums #2 – Reps. Carvalho and Keefe: Repeal the “school zone” mandatory minimum;
• Medical parole #1 — Rep. Connolly: Make people with permanent cognitive incapacitation (think dementia) eligible, in keeping with the Senate bill;
• Medical parole #2 — Rep. Connolly: Lengthen the terminal prognosis from 12 months to 18 months, in keeping with the Senate bill;
• Raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction — Rep. Carvalho and Rep. Khan: Raise the lower age to 12 and the upper age to 19 ;
• Romeo & Juliet — Rep. Lewis: Don’t prosecute teens who are close in age and engage in consensual sexual activity;
• School-based arrests — Rep. Vega: Reduce school-based arrests for adolescent misbehavior like disorderly conduct and disturbing an assembly;
• Shackling — Rep. Khan: Codify current court policy prohibiting indiscriminate shackling of juveniles;
• Solitary — Rep. Balser: Further limit the use of solitary confinement and provide data on its use.