Sen. Brownsberger to Co-Host Criminal Justice Reform Discussions in Watertown and Brighton

Senator Brownsberger will co-host community discussions on the push for criminal justice reform in Massachusetts in Watertown and Brighton next week.

The events will each feature an overview of the broad agenda for criminal justice reform in the 2017 – 2018 legislative session, followed by a general discussion, as legislators seek community feedback on the agenda and on other criminal justice reform priorities.

Senator Brownsberger will host a similar discussion in the downtown end of his district later in the Spring.

WHEN: Monday, March 27 from 6:30 – 8 PM
WHERE: Jackson Mann Community Center | 500 Cambridge Street, Allston
COHOSTS:  Representative Kevin Honan, Representative Michael Moran

WHEN: Tuesday, March 28 from 6:30 – 8 PM
WHERE: Watertown Free Public Library | 123 Main Street, Watertown
COHOSTS:  Representative Jonathan Hecht, Representative John Lawn

If you are unable to join us, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts directly.

9 replies on “Sen. Brownsberger to Co-Host Criminal Justice Reform Discussions in Watertown and Brighton”

  1. Why is this happening in Belmont? It seems like not a good location, where those most impacted would be able to attend. Is this also happening elsewhere?

      1. Dear Sen. Brownsberger,
        I am shocked at the use of solitary confinement in Massachusetts. Because I am home sick, I am copying an abridged version of an email I received today from someone who follows justice issues. While the email references Cynthia Creem, I live in Allston and am one of your constituents.

        “Yesterday I saw a truly impressive piece of theatre which has been touring the country for the last year and a half. You may have heard about it this morning on WBUR: “Mariposa and the Saint,” a 45 minute play put together by two people, an author and activist and a woman in solitary confinement in California, from the correspondence between them over many years. It is powerful! It will play again, followed by a panel discussion, at the State House in Room 428, next Tuesday at 12:00. … Call your state legislators to support Sen. Cindy Creem’s bills, SD797 and SD806, which would restrict this practice in Massachusetts and bring more oversight.

        The panel discussion afterwards, which included a man who had been in solitary confinement here in Massachusetts, was for so many in the audience an eye opener. How many of you know that in Massachusetts a prisoner can be “sentenced” by prison authorities (not a judge) to as much as 10 years in solitary confinement?!!!! Yes, you read that right.

        Solitary confinement is done throughout the US, but Massachusetts has one of the harshest regimes. And our prison authorities are unaccountable to anyone (except the governor). There’s no recourse. The infractions of rules can be petty, like having more toothpaste than allowed. And, of course, prisoners of color are over represented in the population so confined. In Massachusetts there are now, I believe, 431 people serving in solitary. Quite a few of those have been there for 7 years and one man has, indeed, been confined by himself 23 hours a day for 10 years. The UN standards say solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture.

        Thanks for reading this far. Now please spread the word.”

        One again, thank you for asking for input.

  2. Will, I appreciate your involvement of the community in this discussion. We have become too wedded to the notion that we can arrest and incarcerate our way out of crime. As you think about this, let’s not lose sight of the “low hanging fruit”, the low level offenders who make up a portion of our local jail population. On the other hand, we do need to do more to help serious and violent offenders find their way back into society’s good graces. I’m reminded of an old high school classmate who has been incarcerated for years for a murder committed in a fit of rage. The man represents a threat to no one today. He’ll never commit another violent act whether released or not, and the statistical data for people who have committed similar crimes leads one to the same conclusion. Yet, the State of California continues to spend $71,000 a year to incarcerate him — funding that could be better spent on school lunches, childcare assistance, job training, aid to higher education, infrastructure, and just about anything else useful.

    1. I’m very glad for the comment that discusses the people who have incarcerated since they were young. It’s true most of them are reformed, and there is practically no chance they would be any threat to society, because they have aged out of crime. It’s a waste of taxpayers $, to keep a change person locked up for decades on end.

  3. Thank you for working on this issue! Although I don’t have practical experience I know as a teacher that unwanted behavior changes when I find the correct combination of environment and social/emotional supports. I loved the jail system in ?Norway where people were encouraged to learn and express them selves through the arts. ..

    1. John Thompsone–is that because he was hit by an “illegal alien” that had “no license”, was “drunk”, was driving in Brighton going 60mph.

      (where in Brighton can you drive 60mph ? –Nonantum Rd. ?),

      dressed in a mariachi costume. he State Trooper told hum he was in Big Trouble. He told the the State cop “You can’t do anything to me. I’ll just go home to my country.”

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