Oversight Commission for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections sign now

To: Deval Patrick

We the Undersigned with grave concern and sense of urgency request Governor Deval Patrick to sign an Executive Order creating a permanent independent Oversight Commission for the Department of Corrections as proposed by House Bill 2240.

We believe that an Oversight Commission which would oversee the operations and activities of the Department of Corrections such as finances, public works, health, education, etc. This commission would perform an important role in gathering information on the functioning of the Department and ensuring, through their oversight of management officials, that corrupt practices do not take place. Furthermore, this commission can be an excellent starting point for the simplification of administrative procedures and would support your commitment to public transparency and governmental accountability. The Department of Corrections is housed under the Executive Office of Public Safety, with a budget of $549 million and responsible for the wellbeing of thousands of inmates including women and their families and directly linked to the safety of our communities.

We affirm that the Department of Corrections is too critical to operate without any independent oversight. As outlined by the 2004 Governor's Commission on Corrections Reform, chaired by Mr. Harshbarger detailing the need for corrections reform, we urgently need a body that can independently evaluate the Department of Corrections.

Most recently the following events are making our demand dire:

в October 9th, Department of Corrections Commissioner Clarke abruptly resigns;

в October 8th incident at MCI Norfolk where Brent Stevenson was assaulted, and subsequently hospitalizes, by a Corrections Officer

в October 8, 2010 Attorney General Eric Holder announces $110 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 funding for the Second Chance Act reentry grants and the Justice Reinvestment Initiatives. MA is not one of the recipient

в September 13th - The Boston Phoenix article вTrouble Over Bridgewater в described one of MA Correctional Facilityвs as the вPrison from Hellв outlining documented abuses at Old Colony Correctional Center

в July 16, 2010 national statistics show that MA suicides are occurring at a rate more than four times higher than the national average

в The need for secure data management in order to prevent CORI leaks and to protect personal inmate and visitor information to ensure the safety of all.

в In Massachusetts state prisons, recidivism statistics show a slight reduction in rates over the past few years. At the same time, though, admissions, custody levels, and overcrowding rates are on the rise. From 2004 to 2007, the criminally sentenced custody population at the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) increased 10 percent, by 897 inmates.

It is our responsibility as a community to ensure the safety of our people both behind bars and on our streets. We request an emergency action meeting to discuss this request of you signing an Executive Order creating an independent Oversight Commission as proposed by House Bill 2240.

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Latest Signatures

  • 02 December 2015150. Tillyruth T
    hopefully by streamlining the dept, this will save the state money Address, zip code 372 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 02116
  • 16 September 2015149. Linda Koch
    I support this petition
  • 13 September 2015148. Jay W
    As a volunteer at MCI Concord, i am keenly aware of the impact that the management of the prisons has on the lives of inmates and guards alike. The Oversight Commission would be a reasonable and important step forward.
  • 09 September 2015147. Dominick W
    I support this petition
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  • 20 June 2015143. Julie B
    02356
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    В Address, zip code 02215
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Information

Leo MahoneyBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
Governor Deval Patrick

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