Background: A coalition of community, religious, and union organizations has come together behind an omnibus bill to improve Massachusetts’ systems of criminal justice, end mass incarceration, and re-invest in our schools and in job-creation. Our neighborhoods are filled with people who cannot find life-sustaining work. Our prisons are filled with people who suffer from addiction or trauma, and people who struggled in school, yet they are serving long mandatory minimum sentences that do not address the underlying problem. Our nation has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners; the most in the world. Much of this over-incarceration is driven by racial bias at every stage in the criminal justice process. We believe in prevention and treatment before prosecution and imprisonment. We believe in institutions that build people up, not break us down.
Why This Matters: We are not safer because of mass incarceration. Whereas over 60% of people involved in the criminal justice system are re-incarcerated within 3 years, successful social enterprises such as UTEC in Lowell have recidivism rates of only 2% among their participants.
What the Bill does:
Lead Sponsors: State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) and State Representative Mary Keefe (D-Worcester)
What To Do:
Sign this change.org petition in support of the bill!
Email or call your legislator using this reference sheet!
Write a guest blog about the bill!
Facebook or Tweet about the bill!