- There are only 7 countries in the world with a higher incarceration rate than Massachusetts
- Incarceration rates have increased 263% since 1980 even though crime rates are down 26%
Less than 2% of the Department of Correction Budget is spent on treatment and education programs
Sherriff Peter Koutoujian states that
85% of the population of the Middlesex House of Correction suffer from
addiction and/or mental illness.
- Our Criminal Justice System continues to disproportionately affect communities of color.
The facts are clear, we need
Jobs Not Jails
People with Addictions Need
is a proud member of the Jobs Not Jails Coalition, a group of community, labor, religious, and legal organization and individuals with a keen interest in review of the states criminal justice system.
We support the The Justice Reinvestment Act that is being filed by Representative Mary Keefe (
) and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (
) and smaller bills to:
- End long mandatory minimum sentences on drug convictions of non-violent persons;
- Raise the threshold for what's a felony theft from $250 (the third lowest in the nation) up to $1500;
- Lower probation and parole fees such as the $65 a month ex-prisoners have to pay in parole fees when ex-prisoners are already working at low wage jobs;
- Lessen the "sealing time" before employers can no longer see court appearances on a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information). The current times leads people not to be able to be hired when they are released from prison;
- Increase funding for in-prison education and job training, and increases funding for reentry services especially for job training and job placement;
- Divert people that have committed crimes because of addiction to treatment rather than jail;