Mass Incarceration Working Group

hands holding prison bars

Our mission is to help build a movement to end mass incarceration in Massachusetts.

We educate ourselves and others about the problems: The United States locks up a greater percentage of our people than any other country in the world. Even though the incarceration rate in Massachusetts is one of the lowest in the country, it is still many times higher than in other wealthy democracies, and our racial discrepancies are higher than average for the U.S. Keeping one person in prison costs nearly $50,000 a year, sapping budgets for public schools and universities, local aid, human services, roads and bridges, and everything else.

We focus on solutions: legislative changes of many kinds, restorative justice, a public health approach to addiction and substance abuse and mental health treatment for all who need them, and the fundamental belief that every person deserves both justice and compassion.

We send roughly 600 people 1-3 emails a month about action opportunities related to ending mass incarceration and promoting better alternatives. To join that email list or learn more about our group, contact us at end-mass-incarceration @

Please click here to register for our March 25 forum on “The Politics of Justice: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Massachuetts.”

Sen. Will Brownsberger will speak on the Council of State Governments omnibus bill, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan on restorative justice, Idris Abdullah of Teens Leading the Way on juvenile justice, Sen. Ken Donnelly on mental health issues and pretrial reform, Cassandra Bensahih of EPOCA and Jobs Not Jails on the Justice Reinvestment Act, and Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU‑MA’s Racial Justice Program on the racial implications of this season’s proposed legislation.

Networking & registration will begin at 12:45 pm. The panel and discussions with panelists will go from 1:15 pm - 4:30 pm, with action opportunities from 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm – including a 30-minute workshop on interacting effectively with legislators led by Bill Gardiner and Rep. Dave Rogers.

This gathering is free and open to the public. Please join us!

rate of incarcertaion bar graph



Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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