FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 16, 2015
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Boston City Council to hold first–ever hearing at Suffolk County House of Correction to address need for re–entry services
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, District 7 Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson and members of the Boston City Council body will convene an historic hearing on September 29th, 2015.
For the first time in its history, the Boston City Council will conduct an official hearing at the Suffolk County House of Correction, located at 20 Bradston Street in Boston. Examining topics that include mass incarceration, re–entry and recidivism prevention, the hearing will take place at the House of Correction on Tuesday, September 29th at 6:00p.m.
Sheriff Tompkins and the Department will host Councilor Jackson, members of the Council and others who will deliver testimony about the state of re–entry services within Boston and surrounding areas, while delving into the issue of mass incarceration and its disparate impact on men of color. Included in the day’s testimony will be a panel of inmates who will speak about their institutional experience and also address some of the contributing factors to their incarceration.
Additionally, Sheriff Tompkins will provide perspective about some of the many medical, mental health and educational needs that this population requires, both while incarcerated and upon release back into society.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to join with city government to shed light on the need for more comprehensive services for those returning to our communities from incarceration,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “Many of the people who are remanded to our care and custody suffer from addiction and carry with them low reading and math proficiency levels and few job–ready skills. Their needs are many and resources are limited.”
Seeking to mitigate these issues and also discuss the causes of mass incarceration, particularly among black and Latino males, Councilor Jackson explained his decision to hold the forum on the Department’s campus.
“This hearing will allow us to listen to the needs of those who are incarcerated and heed their voices about obstacles and needed resources,” said Councilor Jackson. “Their voices will shape policy, procedure, and future collaboration.”
“We welcome Councilor Jackson and the members of Boston City Council to our facility for a frank discussion about re–entry,” Sheriff Tompkins added. “It is our hope that this hearing will lead to a greater discussion among other legislators and policy makers about concrete actions that can be taken to begin stemming the tide of incarceration and helping those who have been incarcerated to lead positive and productive lives.”
For a (PDF) version of the Boston City Council Notice of Public Hearing and the special requirements to attend, click here.