FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/24/2010

Contact: Contact: Eric Fullerton

617-778-1906

Legislative Action Alert

Dear BBA Colleagues:

WE NEED YOUR HELP.  The Massachusetts House plans to take up Sentencing Reform tomorrow during a Democratic caucus and on Wednesday during a full formal session.  Now is the time to voice your concern as a constituent and to emphasize that Criminal Offender Record Information ("CORI") reform and sentencing reform must be viewed as interconnected parts of the solution.  Please contact your state representative NOW and urge them to pass a comprehensive sentencing reform package.  You can look up your local legislator here.  Below are some helpful talking points to raise when you make the case for comprehensive CORI and sentencing reform to your representative:

Massachusetts needs CORI Reform NOW

  • Massachusetts needs CORI reform in order to successfully facilitate reintegration of ex-offenders into productive, tax-paying members of society.
  • CORI reform means increased accuracy of an individual’s CORI, clarification of access to CORI and the ability to seal one’s record after 10 years for a felony and after 5 years for a misdemeanor

Massachusetts needs Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Reform

  • Massachusetts needs to expand parole eligibility for nonviolent drug offenders so that prisoners convicted of certain drug offenses can apply for parole after serving 2/3 of the minimum. 
  • Mandatory sentencing reform will save the Commonwealth millions and improve public safety.
  • One size fits all sentences for non-violent drug offenders do not make sense. 

Massachusetts needs a reasonable approach to Post-release Supervision

  • A system of presumptive post-release supervision for all offenders incarcerated in state prison should be implemented because right now offenders often are released directly to the community – with no transition period – after serving the maximum term of their sentence.

If you have questions about this legislation, please contact Kathleen Joyce, BBA Government Relations Director, KJoyce@bostonbar.org

The Boston Bar Association is a non-profit, voluntary membership organization of 11,000 attorneys drawn from private practice, corporations, government agencies, legal aid organizations, the courts, and law schools. It traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, the lawyer who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the second president of the United States.