Resources

Government Contacts

Below are a list of resources pertaining to Massachusetts government contacts.

Facebook Groups

Below you can find a list of Facebook groups oriented around prison reform.

Bills and Articles on Abolishing Life Sentences

An Act to Reduce Recidivism among Emerging Adults (Reps. Kay Khan & James O’ Day, Sen. Cindy Friedman).  This bill would infuse developmentally-appropriate, evidence-informed policies modeled after Massachusetts’ juvenile justice system into the adult system to promote positive outcomes for system-involved young adults (under the age of 25 or 26) and increase public safety by (1) individualized case planning, (2) family engagement, (3) access to education, including post-secondary education, (4) abolishing the use of solitary and restraints, (5) community-based pre-release, (6) access to physical, mental and dental health care, (7) prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, and (8) prohibiting incarceration due solely to lack of placement by another state agency.

SECTION 1. Section 133A of chapter 127 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking, in the first sentence of the first paragraph, the phrases: “except prisoners confined to the hospital at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Bridgewater, except prisoners serving a life sentence for murder in the first degree who had attained the age of 18 years at the time of the murder and except prisoners serving more than 1 life sentence arising out of separate and distinct incidents that occurred at different times, where the second offense occurred subsequent to the first conviction,”; and by inserting in the first paragraph after the phrase “of the minimum term fixed by the court under section 24 of chapter 279.” the following sentence:- Provided, however, that in the case of a prisoner serving more than 1 life sentence arising out of separate and distinct incidents that occurred at different times, where the second offense occurred subsequent to the first conviction, such prisoner shall be eligible for parole 25 years after the start of the second or most recent sentence.
SECTION 2. Amend Section 133C of chapter 127 of the General Laws at it appears in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking, in the first paragraph, the phrase: “except prisoners serving a life sentence for murder in the first degree who had attained the age of 18 years at the time of the murder and prisoners confined to the hospital at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Bridgewater.”.
SECTION 3. Subsection (a) of section 2 of chapter 265 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the phrase: “not be eligible for parole pursuant to section 133A of Chapter 127.”, and inserting in place thereof the phrase:- shall be eligible for parole after a term of years fixed by the court pursuant to section 24 of chapter 279.
SECTION 4. Amend subsection (b) of section 2 of Chapter 265 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition, by inserting in the fourth line, after the words “term of years” :- but no more than 25 years, as.
SECTION 5. Section 24 of chapter 279 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking, in the first paragraph, the phrase: “which shall be not less than 15 years nor more than 25 years,” and insert in place thereof the phrase:- of 15 years; and by striking out the second paragraph in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
In the case of a sentence to life imprisonment for murder in the first degree, the court shall fix a minimum term of 25 years; provided, however, that in the case of a person who committed the murder on or after the person’s fourteenth birthday and before the person’s eighteenth birthday, the court shall fix a minimum term of not less than 15 years nor more than 20 years, after consideration of relevant mitigating and exacerbating circumstances; and provided, however, that in the case of a person sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in the first degree adjudicated solely by a verdict of felony murder or joint venture and where the offender is not the actual killer, committed on or after the person’s fourteenth birthday and before the person’s eighteenth birthday, the court shall fix a minimum term of not less than 10 years nor more than 12 years.
SECTION 6. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, section 24 of chapter 279 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition shall apply to any person found guilty of murder pursuant to subsections (a), (b) or (c) of section 2 of chapter 265 prior to or after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 7. Subsection (b) of section 25 of chapter 279 of the General Laws as it appears in the 2014 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting in the first paragraph after the words “for good conduct”, the following phrase:- provided, however, that in the case of a person so serving a life sentence, parole eligibility will commence after serving 25 years of said sentence. And by inserting after the last paragraph of subsection (b) of section 25 the following sentence:- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, section 25(b) shall apply to any person convicted as a habitual offender pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of section 25 of chapter 279 prior to or after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 8. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, except as provided by SECTION 1 of this act, no person shall be imprisoned for more than 25 years without a parole hearing at 25 years.

Prison Population and Data Resources

Below is a list of resources pertaining to Massachusetts incarceration statistics, including charts and reports.