There was a Jobs NOT Jails Rally on April 26th at 1pm on Boston Common!
The Patrick Administration has estimated that, if current criminal justice policies are not changed dramatically, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will have to spend $2 billion in the next seven years, to build 10,000 new prison units, as well as $150 million more each year to fill them. Massachusetts already has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world – on par with French Guiana and Kazakhstan.
Massachusetts can do the same, by ending practices that are proven ineffective, and implementing the best of what other states have already proven can work. For example:
- Ending mandatory minimum drug sentences;
- Diversion of low-level drug offenders to treatment even before trial;
- Eliminating counter-productive “collateral sanctions” such as an automatic driver’s license suspension for drug offenses, and high fees for probation, parole, court costs, and telephone charges;
- Reforming the systems of parole and probation;
- Bail reform;
- Restoring educational programs including vocational education as well as college-level courses in prisons and jails;