Following news that the state continues to move forward with plans to build a new women’s prison in Norfolk, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing today urged state leaders to abandon the project.
“Investing in incarceration is the exact opposite of what Massachusetts needs. If there is a genuine desire by state leaders to focus on more ‘trauma-informed’ care for those interacting with our justice system, then our dollars should be directed towards decarceration, community-based alternatives, housing, mental health care, education, job training, and the endless other ways we can support — rather than punish — those carrying trauma. Our state government should also engage transparently and in good faith with the advocates for whom this is deeply personal; the women and children and families living with the generational consequences of incarceration every day.
“The Baker Administration and Department of Correction should abandon this project, and the state legislature should expeditiously pass Rep. Tyler and Sen. Comerford’s legislation to protect against this kind of misuse of state dollars moving forward.”