BPRRS Newsletter Vol 1 (10/7/2019)

 Hello Everyone,

Its Steven...


its been busy here at our office with people calling us and of Sept 2019 we just  celebrated our frist , i cant say anything at this time about it but it will be great and i hope you can make it to the event when it happens .. but in the mean time bear with us. if you see mike and me in the community please by all means please say hello to us..


Ps. Blow are Photos from ReEntry Week, back in May.. Enjoy !!!


Sincerely,

Steven Provost

Executive Director

Boston Project Rebound 

Reentry Services

image87

OLD NEWS

REVERSING THE NARRATIVE: PRISON-TO-SCHOOL PIPELINE

  

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 (Part One)

Location: More Than Words- 242 East Berkeley Street

Topic: REVERSING THE NARRATIVE: PRISON-TO-SCHOOL PIPELINE

A panel discussion that seeks to illuminate the symbiotic relationship between schools and prisons, confront narratives of racial injustice, co-construct a reversed narrative to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, address the salient issues of reentry for youth, highlight success stories due to the unprecedented depth of effective programming, 

REVERSING THE NARRATIVE: PRISON-TO-SCHOOL PIPELINE

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 (Part Two)

Location: More Than Words- 242 East Berkeley Street

Topic: REVERSING THE NARRATIVE: PRISON-TO-SCHOOL PIPELINE

A panel discussion that seeks to illuminate the symbiotic relationship between schools and prisons, confront narratives of racial injustice, co-construct a reversed narrative to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, address the salient issues of reentry for youth, highlight success stories due to the unprecedented depth of effective programming.

A DAY OF INCLUSION: HELPING RETURNING CITIZENS

  

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Location: Cambridge College-500 Rutherford Avenue, Boston MA (Near Bunker Hill)

Topic:  A DAY OF INCLUSION: HELPING RETURNING CITIZENS

A fun-filled day with returning citizens, their families and support networks that will place emphasis on productive citizenship through full integration and holistic health and wellness 

In The News

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

 Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system


  Oct 3, 2017 

SHARE AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to Facebook45Share to TwitterShare to PrintShare to EmailShare to More50     

THE SENATE IS  poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would  reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences  and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants.

The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to  eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that sometimes  seems designed for them to fail, said Sen. William Brownsberger, the  measure’s lead sponsor. “It’s about lifting people up, not locking  people up,” he said of the bill. “And it’s about reducing entanglements  with the criminal justice system.”


Legislative leaders and Gov. Charlie Baker have all lined up behind separate legislation that emerged in February from a year-long review of criminal justice policy. That measure, which is now forming the basis for a House bill, is aimed more narrowly at reducing recidivism by

Sen.  William Brownsberger: “Criminal justice involvement breeds more  criminal justice involvement. This bill seeks to address that challenge  from front to back in the criminal justice system.”

increasing some programming in prisons and allowing more inmates to  earn “good time” credits that shave time off their sentences.

Two-thirds of those leaving county houses of correction and more than  half of those leaving the state prison system are arraigned on new  criminal charges within three years, according to the Council of State  Governments, which coordinated the policy review.

Brownsberger’s bill would go much further, enhancing the ability of  courts to divert more cases from the criminal justice system to  community programs so that younger offenders don’t enter the system. It  also would repeal mandatory minimum drug sentences that are not tied to  drug quantities, such as a law mandating minimum sentences for drug  offenders arrested near a school. It would also eliminate the fees  charged to indigent defendants for legal representation and eliminate  the suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license for missing a court  date.

Whether the widely divergent bills will lead to conflict between the  two branches or serve as starting points for far-reaching compromise is  now one of the big questions facing Beacon Hill this fall.

Massachusetts has the second lowest incarceration rate of any state,  but the state’s prison population is four to five times larger than it  was four decades ago. That level of incarceration extracts a  particularly high toll in low-income neighborhoods, said Brownsberger, a  Belmont Democrat and Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on the  Judiciary.

“We want to avoid unnecessary incarceration, and avoid entry into the  criminal justice system if at all possible,” said Brownsberger.  “Criminal justice involvement breeds more criminal justice involvement.  This bill seeks to address that challenge from front to back in the  criminal justice system.”

An overriding goal, he said, should be to “separate people, as the  saying goes, we’re mad at from the people we’re really afraid of, and  make sure we’re doing as much as we can with the people we’re mad at to  calm things down and resolve things outside of the prison context.”

Brownsberger said he believes low-level drug dealers, who often have  drug problems themselves, should not be subject to mandatory minimum  sentences. But the bill would stiffen some drug penalties. It adds  fentanyl and other synthetic opioids into the mandatory minimum  sentences now in place for trafficking in heroin.

“I don’t think there’s an appetite on the part of most elected  officials to reduce enforcement directed at the opioid drugs that are  killing thousands of people every year,” he said.

The bill would eliminate the fees charged to those on parole and fees  charged to poor defendants for public defender services. It also would  eliminate the suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license for missing a  court date.

Brownsberger said he favors also eliminating monthly fees charged to  those on probation, but left that out of the bill because it would mean  forgoing about $20 million in annual revenue to the state.

“We have put so many rules in place that each individually made some  sense, but we now have a structure that’s just impossible for people to  extract themselves from unless they have a lot of money, which these  people typically don’t,” Brownsberger said of those in the criminal  justice system.

The bill would also touch on conditions in prisons, mandating regular  review of cases of those put in solitary confinement and increasing  programming for them. “There are people who spiral downward [in solitary  confinement] and with treatment could be restored to trustworthiness in  the general prison population,” said Brownsberger. “It’s in everybody’s  interest to do this better.”

In August, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously that courts  must set bail amounts that defendants can afford. The case was part of a  major push nationally to reform bail practices, which advocates say  unfairly burden poor defendants. The bill would set out new rules that  codify the court ruling.

Holding defendants even for short periods simply because of an  inability to pay a bail amount can have devastating ripple effects, said  Brownsberger. “If you have life responsibilities, if you’ve got a  child, if you’ve got a job, being totally cold out of circulation for a  week has huge consequences,” he said.

At the same time, the bill would make it easier for prosecutors to  seek dangerousness hearings where they can ask for high bail based on a  defendant’s threat to public safety. Brownsberger said many judges  currently set bail “based on their perception of dangerousness” outside  of that hearing process.

The two bail reform measures together will “better protect the public  and also better protect low-income defendants,” said Brownsberger.

Another provision in the bill addresses a problem Brownsberger said  comes up when someone whose record was sealed in Massachusetts shows up  in the federal fingerprint database. He said that can undermine job  searches for those who believed their past record was now shielded from  view. The bill would require that the federal fingerprint identification  number be attached to state records so that when a case is sealed in  Massachusetts the federal database is notified to seal it as well.

When the recidivism-focused bill was nearing completion last winter, advocates of broader reforms expressed fear that it would short-circuit consideration  of more sweeping proposals. “Those doubts and concerns that that might  be the beginning and end of what we’re doing should be dispelled,” said  Brownsberger.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo told reporters on Monday that he’s eager  to have the House take up the bill rolled out earlier this year, but he  knows there are those in the House and Senate “and probably in the  administration as well that wish to go further than that.”

“What will be the result of that? We’ll have to see,” DeLeo said.

Baker’s office was similarly circumspect when asked about the Senate  bill. The administration “will carefully review legislation that reaches  the governor’s desk,” Baker spokesman Billy Pitman said in a statement.  Baker has often pointed to the low incarceration rate in Massachusetts  compared to other states. The prison population has further declined by  1,300 since he took office.

One surprising voice of support for parts of the bill is Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. Conley, who has strongly defended mandatory minimum sentences in the past, said in a statement  that he would support eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for drug  arrests in a school zone. He also said he was open to “rethinking” the  mandatory sentence triggered by a second drug distribution charge for  smaller quantities, a minimum mandatory sentence that the Senate bill  would also repeal.

Conley also pointed to several “promising ideas” in the bill for bail  reform and elimination of fines and fees on low-income defendants. He  said there are “certainly some aspects of the bill I am concerned  about,” but did not spell these out.

Conley’s stance is likely to affect the tenor of the debate over  reform measures, even more so if it reflects a wider rethinking of  mandatory minimum sentences among the state’s district attorneys, who  have almost universally opposed eliminating them.

The bill was sent last week to the Senate Ways and Means Committee  and will go from there to the full Senate. Brownsberger said he thinks  there is strong support for the bill in the Senate, which generally  leans more to the left than the House. How much of the bill’s broad  reform agenda the House will embrace is unclear.

Brownsberger said he expects each branch to finish work on a bill and  for a conference committee to then be appointed to try to reach  agreement on a measure acceptable to both chambers. In the process, he  said, both bills are likely to see amendments proposed that would make  them “more liberal” and amendments to make them “more conservative.”

        


image93