15 Winthrop St
The Emancipation Initiative invites all Massachusetts residents to join us to strengthen the movement for criminal justice reform. We are particularly interested in hearing from those most impacted by crime and incarceration and those excluded from our political process here in Massachusetts via incarceration. We understand that the 13th amendment continues modern-day slavery, and we will not let that stand.
The two main goals of the Emancipation Initiative are to:
1. End the sentence of life without parole: The Emancipation Initiative is made up of currently incarcerated people and their loved ones on the outside. We know people are more than their worst mistake. We also know that no one is incorrigible, and people are capable of change.
2. Returning the right to vote to people who are incarcerated: Ballots Over Bars. Currently in Massachusetts, people who are incarcerated for a felony cannot vote. Before 2000, almost everyone could vote while they were incarcerated, but that changed as a reactionary response to people in prison organizing to voice their political power.
Currently DOC is also doing some terrible things. The water quality is poor across the board, and the state continues to do nothing. It is the worst at MCI-Norfolk. In June 2017, people incarcerated in MCI-Norfolk got a front page article in The Boston Sunday Globe about this! You can read it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AWUba9UpCAFDroaiyn7xSMzK6SfX-2PCAbFiHpE01tM/edit?usp=sharing We are part of a growing coalition to get clean water to the prisons and highlight that incarceration is not healthy or productive: #DeeperThanWater.
The DOC is also planning on limiting the number of people that can visit each person to 10 people. This is starting September 2017. We know that having strong connections to the outside world reduces the risk of recidivism, and limiting visits are not constructive.