While I was completing my Masters in Social Work at Hunter College in New York, I had the opportunity to help lead a national campaign called Mothers In Prison, Children in Crisis, which called attention to the mass incarceration of women—especially poor women and women of color—and the impact on their children.
In Massachusetts crime rates have declined every year for the last six years, and with them, overall rates of incarceration. Yet there’s much more to this story.
And it begins with focusing first on continued disproportionate rates of incarceration in communities of color.
While roughly 6.6% of the state’s population is Black, approximately 28.3% are incarcerated. And while roughly 10.6% of the state’s population is Latino, the incarceration rate for Latinos is approximately 26%.
We must also end the practice of incarcerating people struggling with addiction or mental illness, overhaul our bail system, end the practice of solitary confinement, and more.
Please take a moment to look at the criminal justice reform bills I have co-sponsored this session, which appear below.
- S.826: An Act to reduce mass incarceration
- S.894: An Act improving the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures
- S.897: An Act to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences related to drug offenses
- S.905: An Act to collect data on LGBTQI prisoners held in restrictive housing
- S.937: An Act relative to treatment, not imprisonment
- S.983: An Act prohibiting discrimination against adults with disabilities in family and juvenile court proceedings
- S.1145: An Act ensuring access to addiction services
- H.1368: An Act relative to enforcing federal law
- S.1374: An Act relative to access to community corrections
- S.1379: An Act to strengthen inmate visitation
- S.1388: An Act relative to crime gun data reporting and analysis
- S.1430: An Act relative to inmate telephone call rates
- S.1453: An Act to ensure compliance with the anti-shackling law for pregnant incarcerated women
- H.1532: An Act relative to the repeal or reform of certain unenforceable or unconstitutional archaic laws
- H.1551: An Act to track the implementation of the Brangan ruling
- H.3493: An Act prohibiting the participation of healthcare professionals in the torture and abuse of prisoners