Maura’s background is as a civil rights lawyer, and her work has been and continues to be guided by a commitment to equity. It’s why she’s brought cases against predatory landlords and lenders. It’s why she’s worked to address the broken student loan system and reduce the debt burden on families of color and immigrants. It’s why her office has invested in recovery services in Black and Latino/Hispanic communities. It’s why she revealed civil rights violations in the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, leading to the termination of its contract with the federal government. It’s why she’s taken on pollution and environmental injustices.
And it’s why she’s supported criminal justice reforms – the 2020 police reform bill in Massachusetts, repealing mandatory minimums, bail reform, adopting uniform policies on eyewitness identification, increasing the property crime thresholds amounts and thereby downgrading many of these offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, releasing terminally ill incarcerated individuals, ending mandatory drivers license revocations for non-driving offenses, creating and supporting Conviction Integrity Units in all her prosecutorial offices to address wrongful convictions, and more.
Voters can count on Maura to use this same equity lens as Governor. She knows that we have a lot more work to do to address systemic racism in our criminal justice system – and across all realms of our society. That includes:
- Police reform: Maura will be committed to seeing through full implementation of the landmark 2020 police reform bill. The new Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission has a lot of work to do to ensure that our departments and officers have uniform training standards, certification and decertification policies, de-escalation tactics and other life saving procedures, and so much more. Massachusetts was one of the last states to adopt this type of independent oversight Commission, but Maura knows they are up to the task.
- Appointments: Maura will appoint leaders who share a commitment to public safety, equity and criminal justice reform.
- Prevention: Maura will continue to support investments that prevent entry into the criminal justice system in the first place, including, expanding affordable housing, increasing access to behavioral health care and recovery services, and hiring more social workers in schools. For those re-entering our communities, she will look to advance opportunities that increase access to jobs and education. Real alternatives, when partnered with housing, health care and other support services, can help reduce recidivism.
- Workforce development: Maura sees workforce development opportunities as a means to support people who are re-entering society, especially if we invest in wraparound services and provide stipends for people to live off while they train. Maura will continue to advocate for removing barriers to employment because of someone’s criminal record.
- Other reforms: Maura will also continue to advocate for passage of several reforms currently before the legislature. She supports legislation to ensure that incarcerated individuals are not charged for phone calls to their loved ones. She believes we must remove barriers to re-entry, like losing a driver’s license or being barred from good-paying jobs or affordable housing. Maura will also support investing in multidisciplinary crisis response teams to respond to certain emergency calls, including those involving behavioral health and homelessness. And she’ll continue to advocate for reforms to protect the confidentiality of crime victims.