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 to bring together persons and organizations concerned about the repercussions of the increasingly retributive nature of criminal justice policy in Massachusetts. In 2002, CJPC was incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) 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:
Forging relationships and alliances with a variety of like-minded organizations, such as the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Working Group on Crime Victim’s Rights and Services, Center for Restorative Justice and the Restorative Justice Working Group, the Mass. Taxpayers Association, American Friends Service Committee, the Norfolk Lifer's Group, the Stanley Jones Clean Slate Project, ACLU, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Crime and Justice Foundation, Mass. Housing and Shelter Alliance, and more;
Leading the movement for Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform;
Hosting conferences and events on various topics: evidence based policies, prison reform, restorative justice, and more;
Helping launch important criminal justice policy organizations such as the Massachusetts Bail Fund and the Boston Release Network;
Advocating for legislative solutions to cruel and outdated policies, such as Life Without Parole Sentences.
"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