Mass Incarceration

Mass. correctional system needs to change. Stakeholders are watching.

Healey has a possibility to deal with ladies’s incarceration

Kudos to the Globe for urging Governor Maura Healey to prioritize legal justice and jail reform (“Healey’s chance to correct the corrections system,” Editorial, Jan. 8). As a sociologist working with previously incarcerated ladies, I research the cruel challenges confronted by this group, together with excessive charges of poverty, homelessness, bodily and psychological sickness, and childhood and home abuse. Jail exacerbates these issues.

Many of the approximately 175 women at present at MCI-Framingham may very well be launched below current statutes, together with the Main Caretakers Act; a regulation prohibiting civil dedication of ladies to jail; and medical parole. Till now, all of those instruments have been grossly underutilized.

Healey has the ability to deal with pointless and extended incarceration of ladies by appointing progressive directors to the Division of Correction, choosing new Parole Board members with experience in psychological sickness and different drivers of incarceration, and utilizing her energy to grant clemency.

The overwhelming majority of incarcerated ladies usually tend to be victims than perpetrators of violence. With proactive management by the governor, we are able to redirect the more than $235,000 spent per year to incarcerate a single lady at MCI-Framingham to fund safe housing, accessible psychological well being care, household help, and different companies confirmed to scale back crime and nurture wholesome communities.

Susan Sered


The author is a professor within the division of sociology and legal justice at Suffolk College, the place she additionally works with the Women and Incarceration Project.

We have to put together individuals now behind bars for his or her return to society

Thanks for the nice editorial on the dramatic shortcomings of the Division of Correction. The info present the inadequate entry to schooling and rehabilitation for incarcerated individuals in addition to the continued use of types of solitary confinement regardless of the 2018 legal justice reform laws.

Since most individuals might be launched from jail and return to society, we have to put together them to return able to succeed. This improves public security, saves taxpayer {dollars}, and retains households intact. It is a essential aim, and I hope Governor Maura Healy meant what she stated about taking care of all of our residents and that she’s going to “transfer the ball ahead” on corrections reform.

Mary Valerio


The author is a member of the Precise Justice Activity Workforce of the Massachusetts Convention of the United Church of Christ.

Choice to maintain Baker’s decide for head of public security doesn’t bode properly

Your editorial “Healey’s probability to right the corrections system” didn’t discuss Governor Maura Healey’s announcement Friday that she would maintain Terrence Reidy on as secretary of public security, although he has not made any of the adjustments to the Division of Correction talked about in your editorial. Nor has he supplied any accountability for a violent guard attack at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Middle in January 2020 reportedly on more than 100 incarcerated males who weren’t a part of a group of inmates who had attacked three correctional officers.

The individuals of Massachusetts must know why Healey is preserving Reidy as an alternative of discovering another person to run the Govt Workplace of Public Security and Safety. She ought to appoint somebody who cares about these imprisoned in addition to the guards of these incarcerated and who cares about those that police deal with poorly or kill (a lot of them Black or brown) in addition to in regards to the police.

Lauren Gibbs


Take a detailed look, too, at county sheriffs — and their budgets

I welcome the Globe’s consideration to the intransigence of the state Division of Correction. Let’s embrace the county sheriffs whereas we’re at it.

Sheriffs incarcerate hundreds of people that have been sentenced for as much as two and a half years or who’re awaiting trial. Many of those persons are just too poor to submit bail. Sheriffs function with even much less oversight than the DOC, have a historical past of ignoring mandatory reporting requirements, and a few accept ethically dubious campaign donations.

Their time period of workplace is six years they usually typically run unopposed, limiting public scrutiny and accountability. Sheriffs’ budgets keep getting bigger at the same time as the number of people in their custody continues to drop.

Massachusetts is uncommon as a result of sheriffs function on the county stage however haven’t any county authorities to reply to. One method to tackle the lingering issues with jails is for police and district attorneys to keep up the current observe of declining to arrest and prosecute individuals for low-level crimes and technical violations of probation, thereby limiting the variety of individuals uncovered to the inherent harms of incarceration.

Rachel Roth


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