Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Protestors Rally at Massachusetts State House against Bill to Charge Jail Inmates Room & Board

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From the Boston Globe:

Prisoner advocates rallied in front of the State House yesterday, urging lawmakers to reject amendments to the state budget that would require inmates of county jails or state prisons to pay a raft of new fees, including $5 a day to subsidize the cost of their confinement. …

Proponents of the legislation said they are acting following a decision by the state’s highest court this year that rejected similar fees imposed on inmates by Bristol County. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that only the Legislature can set such fees. …

Leslie Walker, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services, a Boston-based civil rights group for prisoners, said the legislation could end up costing the state more money than it raises. …

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety, said the administration opposes the proposed fees.

I posted yesterday on this proposal, but have edited my earlier post to reflect that this budget amendment, although it has passed in the House, still needs to pass in the state Senate to become law. So, readers in Massachusetts, there’s still time to contact your state senators and express your thoughts on this proposal!

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