FOCUS: Criminal Justice Reform
GOAL: Pass S.2185 in the Senate on Thursday
DEADLINE: Thursday October 26, 2017
The MA Senate is set to vote on S.2185, a major Criminal Justice Reform Bill – this Thursday 10/26! It includes an ATMA priority bill—the elimination and reduction of fines & fees for those unable to pay!
What does S.2185 do? A lot!
Among many other things, people won’t be imprisoned just for non-payment of fines or fees if they or their family can’t pay without imposing a substantial hardship. It eliminates parole fees (yes, if you are on parole, you currently must pay a fee); it eliminates current fees for an attorney, if you can’t afford it; and it prohibits detention of juveniles for nonpayment of fines, plus more!
Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the legislation states that
the bill’s aim is to “reduce the unnecessary use of incarceration and criminal justice involvement as much as possible, while at the same time allowing law enforcement to focus on the most serious crimes.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Let’s help get S.2185 “An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform” over the line.
1) Call your State Senator before Thursday – ask them to please support bill S.2185 Criminal Justice Reform;
2) Since the House does not have their bill yet- call your State Representative and ask them to support Criminal Justice Reform with a bill similar to the Senate bill that will Reduce the Criminalization of Poverty by eliminating/and reducing fines and fees for those who are unable to pay.
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
Senate Criminal Justice Reform Package details from Senator William Brownsberger
Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked from CommonWealth Magazine
TO REACH YOUR MOCs:
1. Reach MOCs via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
2. Look up your elected senators and reps.
3. Use Faxzero to send free faxes from your computer to your Senator or Congressperson.
4. Use Resistbot to send faxes to your senators right from your phon.: Text the word “RESIST” to 50409.