Current Legislative Activities

Please find below PLS’ current legislative priorities for the 2017-2018 legislative session.


Solitary Confinement Reform

  • An Act relative to segregation oversight (S.1297 / H.2249), Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Ruth Balser: Massachusetts should convene a segregation oversight committee to gather information regarding the use of disciplinary segregation and non-disciplinary segregation in Massachusetts correctional institutions, jails and houses of correction, to determine the impact of such confinement on prisoners’ rates of violence and self-harm within correctional institutions, recidivism, and incarceration costs.
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full Senate bill can be found here and House bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Barbara A. L’Italien, James B. Eldridge, Mary S. Keefe, Denise Provost, Joan B.  Lovely, Jay R. Kaufman
  • An Act to promote humane conditions of confinement (S.1296 / H.2248), Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Ruth Balser: Vulnerable populations, including those who have serious mental illness, should not be placed in solitary confinement. Those who are placed into segregation should have full access to regular mental health treatment, facility programming, disability accommodations, and other humane services.
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full Senate bill can be found here and House bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Jason M. Lewis, Jack Lewis, Barbara A. L’Italien, Jay R. Kaufman, Denise Provost, Patricia D. Jehlen, Mary S. Keefe, Kenneth J. Donnelly, Marjorie C. Decker, Joan B.  Lovely, James B. Eldridge, William N. Brownsberger
  • An Act reducing recidivism, curbing unnecessary spending, and ensuring appropriate use of segregation (S.1306 / H.3071), Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Russel Holmes:
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full Senate bill can be found here and House bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Ruth B. Balser, Dylan Fernandes, Marjorie C. Decker, Jason M. Lewis, Jack Lewis, Mary S. Keefe, Michael J. Barrett, Elizabeth A. Malia, Denise Provost, Barbara A. L’Italien, Paul R. Heroux, Jennifer E. Benson, Mike Connolly, Linda Dean Campbell, Jay R. Kaufman, Jose F. Tosado, Patricia D. Jehlen, Carmine L. Gentile, Chris Walsh
  • An Act to collect data regarding the use of solitary confinement in Massachusetts prisons and jails (S.1286 / H.3092), Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Rep. Chris Markey:
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full Senate bill can be found here and House bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Jose F. Tosado, Jason M. Lewis, Marjorie C. Decker, James B. Eldridge, Barbara A. L’Italien, Mary S. Keefe, Elizabeth A. Malia, Julian Cyr

Emergency Medical Transfer

  • An Act Relative to Terminal and Incapacitated Inmates (S.874), Sen. Patricia Jehlen:
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Sonia Chang-Diaz, Jason M. Lewis, John F. Keenan, James B. Eldridge, Jay D. Livingstone, Ruth B. Balser, Kenneth I. Gordon, Mary S. Keefe, Denise Provost, Paul R. Heroux, Mike Connolly, Susan Williams Gifford, Jonathan Hecht, Jay R. Kaufman, Cynthia S. Creem, Jose F. Tosado, Sal N. DiDomenico, Carmine L. Gentile, Thomas J. Calter, Michael J. Barrett
  • An Act Relative to Terminal and Incapacitated Inmates (H. 794 / H.3268), Rep. Sean Garballey and Rep. Chris Markey:
  • An Act Relative to Supervised Medical Parole of Terminal and Extraordinarily Incapacitated Inmates (HD.1645), Rep. Claire Cronin:
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • PLS Fact Sheet will be made available shortly.
    • House bill text should be available soon.

Parole Reform

  • An Act related to parole (S.779 / H.3121), Sen. William N. Brownsberger, Rep. David Rogers: This bill improves the process for parole and removes barriers for people with disabilities to access parole.
    • PLS Fact Sheet
    • Full Senate bill can be found here and House bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: Jack Lewis, Mary S. Keefe, Denise Provost, Paul R. Heroux, Sal N. DiDomenico, Jay R. Kaufman, James B. Eldridge

Mental Health Services

  • An Act relative to ensuring quality mental health services in state correctional facilities (H.721), Rep. Ruth Balser:
  • An Act to transfer Bridgewater State Hospital from the Department of Corrections to the Department of Mental Health (S.1084), Sen. Cynthia Creem:
    • PLS Fact Sheet will be made available shortly.
    • Full bill can be found here.
    • Cosponsors: John J. Lawn, Jr., Barbara A. L’Italien, Patrick M. O’Connor, James J. Dwyer, James B. Eldridge, Mary S. Keefe, Denise Provost, Paul R. Heroux, Thomas M. McGee, Joan B. Lovely