Thanks again for coming to the Cambridge-Somerville for Change organizing meeting last Wednesday and for your interest in getting MA legislators to support the Jobs Not Jails criminal justice reform bills. Passing the Justice Reinvestment Act and related bills would be a major step in addressing inequities in our own criminal justice system. The deadline for state representatives to cosponsor the bills is the end of next week, so the time for us to act is now!
Join us on a brief conference call tomorrow night at 6 PM so we can fill you in on specific steps that you can take to help.
When: Tomorrow, Thursday, 1/16, 6-6:30 PM
Please put this on your calendar now!
More information about the Justice Reinvestment Act is below at the bottom of this email. We'll be sending out additional materials prior to the call.
Fred Berman from our team and I met with Lew Finfer from Jobs Not Jails on Monday and we can fill you in about the campaign. Caroline Bays and Richard Marcus from Progressive Watertown have been working with Lew and will also be with us to help. The folks at Job Not Jails are very excited that we're supporting this important campaign!
(If you can't make the call tomorrow, we'll be sending out a recording afterwards.)
To make sure that you receive ongoing updates from our CSfC Criminal Justice Reform local action team, please watch for an invitation to join our Google Group. Or join the group yourself now athttps://groups.google.com/group/csfc-justice
Looking forward to talking with you tomorrow!
Jim Vetter, Steering Committee Member
Cambridge-Somerville for Change
Justice Reinvestment Act
Lead sponsors: Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Mary Keefe
The bill calls for:
1) Ending long mandatory minimum sentences on drug convictions of non-violent persons,
2) Raising the threshold for what's a felony on theft from $250 (the third lowest in the nation) up to $1500,
3) Lowering probation and parole fees like the $65 a month ex-prisoners have to pay in parole fees when ex-prisoners are already working at low wage jobs,
4) CORI reform to lessen the sealing time before employers can no longer see court appearances on a CORI which leads to people not being hired (change the sealing time from 10 years for felonies and 5 years of misdemeanors to 7 years and 3 years),
5) Increasing funding for in-prison education and job training, and increasing funding for reentry services especially for job training and job placement.
6) Possible medical release of terminally ill prisoners if a judge approves