On Tuesday, January 17, the Coalition for Effective Public Safety sent a letter to Chief Justice Gants, Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Rosenberg expressing concern about the end of the Council of State Governments’ stay in Massachusetts. CSG has been in the state since 2015, gathering information and preparing to propose draft legislation. CEPS urges Massachusetts to request that CSG assist in forming legislative and executive policy proposals that will bring about reform and to request that it address the racial inequality of our criminal justice system in its report.
CEPS provides both legislative and executive policy recommendations. Their legislative recommendations are the elimination of mandatory minimums for drug offenses, increased availability and utilization of diversion, compassionate release for elderly and dying prisoners, and presumptive parole. Their executive agency recommendations are reform of the DOC classification system, more parole releases, increased funding for education, health services, and programming, an end to lengthy stays in solitary confinement, and a prioritization of racial inequity. The letter is signed by 62 local organizations, including the ACLU of Massachusetts. For more information, see the ACLU’s press release.