Thursday, February 25, 2016

call to support sentencing alternatives

SUPPORT HB 1382: An Act to Provide Community-based Sentencing Alternatives to for Primary Caregivers of Dependent Children Convicted of Non-violent Offenses

Please call before 3/16/16. Below is from: facebook.com/events/425795017618914

Right now in Massachusetts we have a unique opportunity to reduce the trauma and suffering prison causes families in the Commonwealth - in particular on mothers and their children.

Sixty-five percent of women in prison are mothers of children under the age of eighteen. Mass incarceration most brutally effects Black and Brown people, who are more likely to face imprisonment and receive harsher sentences for the same offenses as whites. Black women are the fastest growing population of prisoners, often convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and poverty crimes. Because of these staggering racial disparities in the criminal justice system, one in nine Black children have had a parent in prison.

House Bill 1382, an Act to provide community-based sentencing alternatives for primary caregivers of dependent children, would allow parents convicted of nonviolent offenses to continue caring for their children while they complete an alternative sentence like job training, counseling, or drug treatment. It would require that judges consider a person’s caregiver status before sentencing them. The bill was crafted by formerly incarcerated women who know the pain of being separated from their children; it is a policy rooted in love and what’s best for all of our families.

The Judiciary Committee must take action on HB 1382 before March 16 or this critical legislation will die in committee. Please call the members of the Judiciary Committee and urge them to support House bill 1382 by issuing a favorable report on the bill, and recommending it for a floor vote.

Let your legislators know you support alternatives to incarceration that will make Massachusetts safer and our communities stronger by reducing recidivism, decreasing excessive spending on prisons, and ensuring that parents can keep caring for their kids.

Call today and invite your friends to do the same!

Districts and phone numbers of committee members are on this link:
docs.google.com/spreadsheets

Even though my town wasn't on the list of districts with committee members, I still called my state Senator to ask her to support it however she could. You could do the same: www.wheredoivotema.com.

Thanks for your help with this important legislation, Deb


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1 comment:

  1. Comfort, yes, I need to be willing to give up comfort, at least for a little while, because doing this work is uncomfortable. I guess I also need to give up knowing, or thinking I know, much of anything, and just come with wholly empty hands and an open heart.

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