Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Voices for Reform: 30 Years of Mandatory Minimums in Massachusetts

That's the name of FAMM's new report on Massachusetts's mandatory sentencing laws, featuring everyone from a former Congressman and District Attorney to judges, to a FAMM family member impacted by the laws, to The Wire writer Dennis Lehane.  The report is out today!

But the bigger news is today's hearing before the Judiciary Committee.  Read the testimony from our Massachusetts project director, Barb Dougan, here, and check out Michelle Collette's story about her own journey through the mandatory sentencing system.  You can read FAMM's press release about the hearing here.

Barb sums it all up nicely:

Mandatory minimums have now been on the books in Massachusetts for 30 years. That sad milestone needs to be acknowledged. We have three decades of evidence that our current drug sentencing policies are a failure. Regardless of the number of people who are sent to prison on a mandatory sentence, there’s no corresponding decrease in either drug offenses or drug addiction. We hope that legislators will find this new report helpful.
Also, those in the Boston area should tune in tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6:15 a.m. EST to hear Barb talk about possible sentencing reforms on NPR's Morning Edition on WBUR.

Many thanks to the FAMM members who came to the hearing and supported Barb, Michelle, and justice today!