The Norfolk Lifers’ Group, Inc. seeks your assistance in supporting the following proposed legislation:
1. Senate Bill 5779 (Brownsberger) provides meaningful opportunities for parole for prisoners who are successfully rehabilitated.
• This bill requires objective assessments and enumerated reasons for denying parole eligibility rather than “gut” impressions;
• Requires the Parole Board to provide a plan to rehabilitation for those denied parole.
2. Senate Bill 5947 (Spilka) and House Bill H3037 (Carvalho) raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 18 to 21 but neither draft includes those convicted of murder. We urge that this omission be reconsidered because:
• Science has shown that youthful offenders are developmentally immature and are less responsible for their actions;
• They also have a greater capacity for change as they mature and they deserve a second chance through parole eligibility;
• Parole eligibility does not guarantee release.
3. Senate Bill 51306 (Eldridge) and House Bill H2248 (Balser) rationally regulate and limit inappropriate use of solitary confinement.
• Current levels of solitary confinement are excessive, often even abusive;
• Evidence clearly shows that solitary confinement causes permanent damage to physical and mental heath;
• Exposure to persistent solitary confinement worsens the behavior of prisoners exposed to it.
4. Senate Bill 5874 (Jehlen) provides for emergency medical release of terminally ill and permanently incapacitated prisoners.
• Massachusetts is one of the rare states that has not passed such critical legislation;
• This bill provides humane treatment for seriously afflicted prisoners while also providing cost savings to the Commonwealth.
Have your supporters contact their legislators by phone, e-mail, postcard, or letter, or by scheduling a personal visit with the legislator or legislative aide. Share the following suggestions with your supporters:
• When you call, ask for and expect to speak with a legislative aide who can discuss and transmit your issues to the legislator. If you develop a connection with a given office, you may sometimes be able to speak with the legislator themselves.
• In both oral and written communication be concise. State your support (or opposition) to proposed legislation clearly and unambiguously. Cite the bill number and name if you have it.
• Clearly state points of particular concern to you, preferrably in your own words. Use the summaries and bullets above as guides only.
• Don’t be intimidated. Legislators are anxious to hear your opinions and to try and accommodate you.
• In most cases, the legislative aide will take your name and address and note your support for the legislation and not enter into a detailed discussion or argue against your support.
• Be polite and listen to comments the legislator or aide may have, but if necessary, clearly restate your reasons and concerns.
Please use this information- to have your supporters contact their legislators by phone, e-mail, postcard or letter.
Additionally, they may want to directly contact sponsors of any proposed legislation that you are especially interested in. Also, scheduling a personal visit with a legislator is the holy grail of lobbying effectiveness.
The main phone # for the State House is: 617-722-2000
The Address is: Legislator’s Name, State House, Boston, MA 02133
E-mails for Legilators normally are:
For Senators: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Representatives: email@example.com
Contact information for some of the legislators frequently representing our families is listed below for your convenience:
Elizabeth Malia—>Liz.Malia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2060