The Criminal Justice Policy Coalition (CJPC) is dedicated to improving our community through the advancement of effective, just, and humane criminal justice policy in Massachusetts.
Our criminal justice system is informed by the principle of rehabilitation through alternatives to incarceration, addressing the root causes of offending, and providing a pathway to reintegration into society. It would treat everyone fairly and humanely through the use of evidence-based practices and would focus on restorative justice to heal all parties harmed.
CJPC is guided by three values: equity, empathy, and redemption.
History of the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition
CJPC was created in 1996 in order to bring together those individuals and organizations concerned about the individual and societal repercussions of the increasingly retributive nature of criminal justice policy in Massachusetts. In 2002, CJPC was incorporated and received its 501c3 status from the IRS. CJPC is run by a Board of Directors. The group aims to build support for rational, effective, and restorative criminal justice policies in Massachusetts by expanding the public discourse on criminal justice, promoting dialogue and co-operation among diverse stakeholders, and empowering groups and individuals committed to reversing our over-reliance on incarceration and punishment.
Some of our key accomplishments have been:
the (co-)presentation of major conferences Restorative Justice (1997), Critical Passage: from Prison to Community (Oct., 1998), Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis (annual, 1998 and 1999), Building Partnerships for Restorative Justice (Nov.,1999), and Wrongful Convictions: A Call to Action (April, 2002).
enhanced media coverage of criminal justice policies via radio and television talk shows; articles, coverage, and letters to the editor in the Globe, the Herald, the Phoenix, the Metro West News, the Cape Cod Times, the Tab, and the State House News Service.
establishing relationships with victim’s groups (Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Working Group on Crime Victim’s Rights and Services), restorative justice organizations (Center for Restorative Justice and the Restorative Justice Working Group), the Mass. Taxpayers Association, prisoner and ex-offender organizations (American Friends Service Committee, the Norfolk Lifer's Group, and the Stanley Jones Clean Slate Project), Sheriffs of several counties, and a host of other organizations concerned with criminal justice policies focused on long-term societal benefit (ACLU, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Crime and Justice Foundation, Mass. Housing and Shelter Alliance).
the creation of a website for those interested in criminal justice policy in Massachusetts.
co-drafting an initiative on the 2000 ballot that would allow a judge to divert drug-dependent drug offenders to treatment and make changes to asset forfeiture law.
invited to sit on Boston Bar Association Panel to study Prisoner Release and Community Reintegration issues.
fighting to maintain prisoners’ right to vote in Massachusetts organized community members to fight the size of the proposed prison in Dukes County, MA.
organizing community members to fight the size of the proposed prison in Dukes County, MA.
"The Criminal Justice Policy Coalition sponsors a task force, Parole Review for All, which has the goal of eliminating all life sentencing in Massachusetts, and instead making a parole review an option for all sentenced to longer than 25 years. CJPC has provided funding for staff for this task force, encouraged its connections throughout the web of criminal justice advocates, facilitated the printing of literature and in many other ways demonstrated support for this vital program." - Lloyd Fillion, Parole Review for All