WEEK OF ACTION 

UPDATES

ACTIONS:

OVERVIEW

These weeks of action are led by Families for Justice as Healing and the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition.

The mission of Families for Justice as Healing is to end the incarceration of women and girls. Families for Justice as Healing is led by incarcerated women, formerly incarcerated women, and women with incarcerated loved ones. We are abolitionists - we organize to build up our communities as we work to end policing, courts, and incarceration.  

Massachusetts is trying to build a new women’s prison. We have blocked the process twice since January 2020. Building a new women’s prison will cause generations of irreparable harm. We can close Framingham AND create alternatives for every single incarcerated woman without even changing any laws! We need you with us - keep checking back to find out more ways you can work with us to stop the new women’s prison and support us as we create what different looks like!

The People Not Prisons Coalition meets every Saturday from 1-3pm. If you are interested in giving your time to end the incarceration of women and girls and would like more info about meetings, please contact mhanora@justiceashealing.org.

 #FREEHER

#FREEOURFAMILIES

#CLEMENCYWORKS

COVID-19 Fact Sheets to mail to your incarcerated loved ones:  https://tinyurl.com/COVIDvaxMA

https://deeperthanwater.org/2021/01/13/covid-19-faqs/

Summary of our COVID-19 work here.

Contact us for more information:  

mhanora@justiceashealing.org 

@justicehealing

@pplnotprisons

https://www.facebook.com/familiesforjusticeashealing 

Urgent Action: Support priority amendments in the Senate budget

The MA Senate will be considering two budget amendments the week of May 24th championed by formerly incarcerated Black women to reduce the harm of incarceration. Email your state senator today to co-sponsor amendment #669 to fully fund the decarceration ombuds office and #367 to support a one-year prison and jail construction moratorium. Details and script below.         

Ombuds Office Background

Last session, we fought for and won the creation of an independent ombuds office to ensure the MA Department of Correction decarcerates its prisons to protect people on both sides of the wall from the risk of COVID-19. We now need to pressure the state to staff and fund this office to ensure our loved ones return to our communities.  COVID-19 outbreaks are still happening in MA prisons and decarceration is the gold standard for public health in prisons.

Moratorium Background

As part of the campaign for our prison construction moratorium bill, we are also supporting a budget amendment to pause prison and jail construction for one year. As we continue to experience the economic fallout from the pandemic, pausing prison design and construction gives the Commonwealth a chance to focus spending and debt-financing on recovery and healing for the hardest hit communities. This urgent one-year pause will be a major help while our five-year moratorium bill works its way through the legislative process.

EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR

  1. Find your state senator here: https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator
  2. Send them an email message using the script below; feel free to add a personal message about why you care about these issues.
  3. Tag your senator on social media - sample tweets below.

Sample Email:

Subject line: Please Co-sponsor Amendments #669 and #367 for Public Health in Prisons

My name is ____ and as your constituent I am asking you to co-sponsor Amendment 669, “Harm Reduction for Congregate Facilities” and Amendment 367, “One Year Prison Construction Moratorium.” I strongly support both of these budget amendments as they will reduce our overreliance on incarceration and serve the public health of the entire Commonwealth. These amendments were informed by the experience of formerly incarcerated Black women and must be a priority for you as we work to pass a budget that meets the needs of all residents.

Amendment 669 fully funds the independent ombuds office established in the FY21 budget to ensure the MA Department of Correction fulfills its legal obligation to decarcerate, as the Legislature mandated last session. We need to ensure this office is adequately staffed and funded to effectively fulfill its mandate. Decarceration is the gold standard for public health and is still an imperative especially with so few corrections officers electing to get vaccinated. The pandemic is not over and we know diseases linger in prison systems longer than in the outside community. This poses a threat to our loved ones and neighbors who are incarcerated as well as the whole of Massachusetts if prisons remain a source of community infection.

Amendment 367 places a one year pause on prison and jail construction in Massachusetts. This is an urgent priority as we need to allow time to realize the benefits of fully implementing criminal legal reforms passed by the legislature. Formerly incarcerated women are already leading the way by opposing the DOC’s plans for a new women’s prison and creating community-based solutions that address the root causes of incarceration. The amendment will not stop the state from routine maintenance or making essential repairs to jails and prisons, but it will pause excessive spending on planning and construction while “An Act Establishing a Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium” works its way through the legislative process. As we continue to experience the economic fallout from the pandemic, pausing construction gives the Commonwealth a chance to focus spending and debt-financing on recovery and healing for the hardest hit communities.

I urge you to support both of these amendments as they are imperative to public health, criminal legal reform, and to support communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Thank you for your consideration, and please let me know if you will co-sponsor and give your full support to these amendments

Sample Tweet:

I urge @TagYourSenator to co-sponsor amendments 669 & 367 to decarcerate and stop building new prisons. COVID is still a threat inside. It is imperative for public health to release people and fund community priorities, not incarceration #NoNewWomensPrison #FreeOurFamilies 

Share the letter in support of the prison moratorium

Over 90 organizations in Massachusetts have endorsed the prison and jail moratorium bill.

Read the full letter here: tinyurl.com/macommunity and share it on social media to spread the message about the moratorium. Sample posts for individual sand organizations are below including posts that also support funding for decarceration oversight.

Imagine what all of us can create if we pause plans for jail and prison construction and reinvest tens of millions of dollars in community-led solutions!

Sample tweets: Moratorium only

It’s time to aggressively decarcerate Massachusetts. Spending $40m+ on a new prison also isn't about safety or better conditions, it's about being able to lock up future generations. Join @justicehealing @thecouncilus & 90+ orgs to say #NoNewWomensPrison

https://tinyurl.com/macommunity

This budget season presents an unprecedented chance to shift resources from punishment towards healing & growth. We stand with @justicehealing @thecouncilus and 90+ organizations to say #NoNewWomensPrison #mapoli

https://tinyurl.com/macommunity

Sample tweets: Moratorium & ombudsman

Let’s bring abolitionist priorities to the MA Senate. We stand with @justicehealing @thecouncilus in support of a 1-year prison moratorium and funding the Ombuds office for decarceration #NoNewWomensPrison #decarceratethebudget

tinyurl.com/macommunity tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction

This month the MA Senate could pass two major wins for public health. Take action with us to pass amendments for a prison construction moratorium and decarceration ombudsman’s office in the Senate budget. #NoNewWomensPrison #mapoli

tinyurl.com/macommunity tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction

Sample Facebook: Moratorium only

We’re taking action along with 90+ MA organizations to demand an end to over-resourced institutions of punishment. We believe in healing communities, and that’s why we’re supporting a 1-year prison moratorium in the MA Senate budget. Read more and take action with us:tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction


We believe in justice and healing for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s why we’re organizing for a moratorium on jail and prison construction. This month, Senators will consider a 1-year prison and jail construction moratorium in the budget. Later this session, the Legislature will hear testimony on our 5-year prison moratorium bill. We’re done watching government resources get funneled to harm and perpetuation of unequal suffering. We’re taking action along with 90+ community-based organizations to demand an end to over-resourced institutions of punishment. Ask your Senator to support these steps by co-sponsoring the budget amendment and bill! Read more and take action with us: tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction

Sample Facebook: Moratorium & Ombudsman

We believe in justice and healing for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s why we’re supporting 3 critical efforts to decarcerate and shift spending from prisons towards people and communities. This month, the MA Senate will consider adding a 1-year prison moratorium and funding for an ombudsman’s office for decarceration to the Senate budget. Later this session, the Legislature will hear testimony on our 5-year prison moratorium bill. We’re done watching government resources get funneled to harm and perpetuation of unequal suffering. We’re taking action along with 90+ community-based organizations to demand an end to over-resourced institutions of punishment. Read more and take action with us: tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction


This month, the MA Senate will vote on adding a 1-year prison moratorium as well as funding for an ombudsman’s office for decarceration to the Senate budget. Later this summer, the Senate will hear testimony for a 5-year prison moratorium bill. We’re done watching government resources get funneled to harm and perpetuation of unequal suffering. Read more and take action with us: tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction

Sample LinkedIn / Email Newsletter

Organizations from all across Massachusetts are standing with Families for Justice as Healing and The National Council to demand quick and meaningful action on decarceration in the Senate budget. If you work for a community-based organization or business in Massachusetts, please consider signing on to support our work and amplify our call for justice. Read more and take action with us: tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction


We believe in justice and healing for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s why we supporting 3 critical legislative efforts to decarcerate and shift spending from prisons towards people and communities. This month, the MA Senate will consider adding a 1-year prison moratorium and funding for an ombudsman’s office for decarceration to the Senate budget. Later this session, the Legislature will hear testimony on our 5-year prison moratorium bill. We’re done watching government resources get funneled to harm and perpetuation of unequal suffering. We’re taking action along with 90+ community-based organizations to demand an end to over-resourced institutions of punishment. Read more and take action with us: tinyurl.com/MACommunity and tinyurl.com/MAWeekofAction

Support Clemency for Ms. Angie Jefferson

Ms. Angie has been incarcerated for 30 years. At the time of her transgression Ms. Angie was trying to survive an abusive relationship. When she was sentenced to life without parole, she was a young mother who left behind three children all under the age of five, mother and three sisters and other family members. Through her incarceration, she has raised her children to adulthood and is now a grandmother. She has also been a mother figure and mentor to women who have come home from prison to be successful and still love Ms. Angie. Her daughter Shanita Jefferson is fighting for her mother's freedom so she can come home and share all the gifts, talents, and love with her family and community. We are fighting for Ms. Angie to be released on clemency and this is a huge week for our sister Ms. Angie and she needs all of our support!

Tell the Suffolk County DA’s Office on Twitter that you support Ms. Angie coming home.

Please post any pictures and videos from the Mothers Day caravan gently encouraging the release of Ms.Angie, tagging @SCDAONews and @DARollins using the Hashtag #FreeMsAngie

We are also asking if you could join us Today 05/10/2021 and Tomorrow 05/11/2021 by changing your twitter name to #FreeMsAngie.