December 15, 2020
Governor Baker has vetoed an important public health and safety measure to slow the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. This measure was included in the Massachusetts budget, and would create safe and reasonable steps to release people in prison who are most vulnerable.
Since October 1, over 1,000 incarcerated people have contracted the virus and a growing number are hospitalized. Following the lead of public health experts, including the National Academy of Science and the American Public Health Association, our Legislature passed critical decarceration measures in the budget (line item 8900-0001) via Senate Amendment 325, sponsored by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, recognizing the current urgency for action.
Although we are relieved that prisoners are among those in the first phase of vaccine distribution, it will be months before any vaccine is administered to all those incarcerated, and even longer before infection in prisons is controlled. Failing to act now means intolerable harm and further deaths.
We join Prisoner Legal Services, Black and Pink MA and other community partners in asking you to call, email, tweet, or post on Facebook now.
We are pleased that another priority of GLAD’s stayed in the budget: the data collection bill that increases transparency for LGBTQ people subjected to solitary confinement. But the safety of all people who are currently incarcerated, as well as their loved ones, is at stake right now. This is an important moment for the Commonwealth – and we need you to join us in taking action today.
Your State Senator and Representative
Click here to find their contact information
Thank you for taking action!