State Representative Carlos Henriquez
Contact: Danielson Tavares
T: (617) 722-2060 Fax (617) 722 2849
For Immediate Release
Representative Henriquez Urges Conference Committee to take Comprehensive Approach to Crime Reform Legislation
Last fall Representative Henriquez and 11 other colleagues voted to oppose the Habitual Offender Bill (H.3811). Since that time, Representative Henriquez has been a part of panels and public forums; gone on radio and attended community meetings; and met with community leaders to inform constituents and listen to concerns on the potential results of this proposed legislation. With that feedback Representative has made recommendations to the Conference Committee on ways to improve the bill. “I am working to shape this bill so that it removes repeat violent offenders from our streets while preparing the 94% that will return to our communities through sentence reform and programming.”
Representative Henriquez and the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus have asked the committee that such an evidence based comprehensive bill should include the following provisions:
- End mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenses.
- End mandatory minimum sentencing in school zones and reduce school zones to 100 feet.
- Add no mandatory post-release supervision provisions to our current laws until a transition-service oriented system can be designed, rather than one that risks high rates of re-incarceration which exacerbates prison over-crowding and expense.
- Include Senate language allowing for the provision of medical release at the discretion of the Commissioner of DOC.
- Make no changes to the present Habitual Offender law until further study of an evidence-based proposal.
- Reintroduce increased Earned Good Time.
- Make no changes in the present Consecutive Sentencing Law. Judges should retain this authority and responsibility.
- Maintain the current guidelines for parole eligibility on life sentences.
- Allow the Parole Board to award parolees good time for completion of education programs or other beneficial programs while on parole.
- Streamline sharing of inmate medical and mental health.
- Make no expansion of wire tapping powers by police and prosecutors.
- Include Senate language instituting a Good Samaritan law for those experiencing a drug overdose.
- Include Senate language expanding access to work-release programs for non-violent offenders.
The Habitual Offender bills (H3818 and S2059) are currently before the Conference Committee, chaired by Senator Cynthia Creem and Representative Eugene O’Flaherty. The final legislation is expected sometime soon. The MBLLC will continue to meet with their colleagues and community leaders to spread awareness and garner support for a comprehensive crime reform bill.
Representative Carlos Henriquez
(617) 722-2849 Fax