FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 23, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently served as a panelist for the “Summit on Reform, Re–Entry and Results: Promoting Progress in the Criminal Justice System” convened by Governor Deval Patrick, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and Mass INC., and hosted by the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
With opening remarks from Governor Patrick and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Andrea Cabral, the summit featured a film and two separate panels dedicated to reentry and criminal justice reform.
For the panel titled “Taking the Entry out of Reentry,” which was moderated by former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Sandra McCroom, Sheriff Tompkins sat with Chelsea Chief of Police Brian Kyes, Department of Youth Services Commissioner Peter Forbes, and Administrator of the Massachusetts Trial Court Harry Spence.
Speaking about his ongoing efforts around the establishment of a regional lockup in Suffolk County, Sheriff Tompkins also addressed the need to slow the rate of incarceration nationally and locally.
“A central or regional lockup makes sense,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “It would give police officers in Boston, Winthrop, Chelsea and Revere the ability to stay on the streets and in the communities rather than in the station house taking care of detainees, keeping our communities safer and also providing cost savings to taxpayers.”
“This country incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation on the planet,” continued Sheriff Tompkins, turning his attention to the overwhelming number of people imprisoned within the U.S. “What has always baffled me is, ‘how is it that we are the most prosperous, most powerful country in the world, but we have the highest number of people behind bars in the world and we think that were going to continue to be leaders of the free world?’ It is far beyond time to change this dynamic.”
The second panel, which ran concurrently with the first, was titled, “Using Data to Support and Sustain Criminal Justice Reform,” and featured – among others – Secretary Cabral.
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