BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts residents rallied at the State House Monday, fighting to end mandatory minimum sentences.
Dozens of people came to the State House from Springfield and Holyoke, two communities heavily impacted by criminal justice policies. They’re calling on the state to do more to rehabilitate prisoners and keep them out of the system.
One proposal, known as the Justice Reinvestment Act, would support in-prison job training and re-entry programs to help prisoners get back on their feet.
Residents told 22News the bill could help keep people from re-offending and ending up back in prison.
Reverend David Lewis Sr., from the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Springfield, said, “When they’re coming home, a lot of them don’t have support, a lot of them don’t have the resources, so when you’re coming home and you have no resources, you end up doing what you’re familiar with doing.”
The state’s judiciary committee heard public testimony on this bill and several others.