CJPC is a small non-profit funded by the generosity of its supporters and run by the all-volunteer board of directors. Supporting us means supporting a multi-pronged strategy to reform criminal justice policy in the Commonwealth. We are committed to long-term projects (e.g. the Bail Fund, SOPRI, and LWOP committees) as well as reacting to the needs of the moment. We help organize big picture events (e.g. Massachusetts and the Carceral state) while rallying for hot button issues.
None of this is possible without the support of our staff, our volunteers, and our donors. We believe that we provide a unique service to our supporters and the citizens of Massachusetts. If you believe in what we do, we ask that you donate whatever you can to help our collective cause. Whether it is a one time donation, or a recurring gift, all is welcome.
2019 Year in Review
Dear Friends of Justice,
As we enter 2020, we look back on a year of transition and look forward to a year of positive reform. 2019 saw CJPC go through several changes. Sadly, our Executive Director stepped down in the summer. Though we have yet to replace him, this is a top priority for us in 2020. On the other hand, we added a few new board members, all who have helped renew our energy and passion for this work.
Inspirationally, the Massachusetts Bail Fund and the Boston Release Network both became independent organizations. Both started off as projects of CJPC. Both have done incredible work. And both became so big and successful that they are now independent organizations. Just like a proud parent seeing their child off to college, we are sad but mostly proud of what we were able to kindle. We wish both the utmost luck as they continue to make positive contributions to criminal justice reform.
Our Parole Review for All subcommittee continues to push forward with tremendous success. Since 2015, it has embarked on a campaign to abolish life without parole sentences in Massachusetts, notably by mandating parole review after 25 years of incarceration. There are currently two identical pieces of legislation, one in the House and one in the Senate, that would accomplish those objectives. The two bills have had a public hearing and are now before the joint judiciary committee. Parole Review for All has been instrumental in getting both public and legislative support for this bill. Their petition has been signed by hundreds and hundreds of persons and organizations. We are hopeful that this legislation will pass. Our Sex Offender Policy subcommittee remains extremely active. They hosted wonderful events: screening documentaries such as “Untouchables” and “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” and presentations by locally and nationally renowned experts.
As we say goodbye to parts of CJPC, we welcome new projects. In November, we hosted moving and informational panel on prison reform. Our panelists were returning citizens, activists, and experts in the field. The bad weather could not deter the large crowd from gathering. (You can watch an archive of the event on our website).
The event served as a springboard for our new subcommittee on Prison Reform. The subcommittee is set to take off in 2020. Like our past projects, we have high hopes that it will positively impact prison reform—a part of our criminal justice system in desperate need of reform.
Since 1996, your support has made these reforms possible. For your past support, we are deeply grateful. Regarding your future support, we are hopeful that our ongoing programs and new projects will lead you to stretch a bit in your giving this year.
Thank you for believing in us, for encouraging us, and for supporting us.
Now join us, please, by making 2020 our best year ever! Sincerely,
Eric Tennen, Chairman CJPC Board of Directors
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 the CJPC was incorporated and received its 501c3 status from the IRS. The CJPC is run by a ten-person board of directors. All work is done by the part-time executive director, volunteer board, working group volunteers, and interns.
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.