BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – A group of prison reform advocates is hoping to pause plans to open new prisons and jails in Massachusetts.
Families for Justice as Healing is an organization led by formerly incarcerated woman and women with loved ones in prison, with a mission of ending the incarceration of women and girls.
The group held a seven day walk, starting on September 7th in western Massachusetts and ending at the State House on September 13th. In the last leg of their journey Monday morning, the group marched from the Suffolk County Jail to their destination on Beacon Hill.
“We started in Springfield,” said organizer Andrea James. “We walked all the way to get here.”
James said the group is raising awareness around two senate and house bills that would place a five-year moratorium on the construction of new prisons and jails.
“We’re one of the lowest incarceration populations in the country,” she said. “If we cannot figure out how to do something different, then shame on us.”
Fewer than 200 women are incarcerated in state prison. Including the jail system, around 565 women were incarcerated as of July, according to Families for Justice Healing.
WBZ’s James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) was at the demonstration: