Side by side headshots of Bonnie Tenneriello and Mark Martinez

Advocacy groups urge legislature to revisit no-cost phone calls for prisoners and prison construction moratorium (Various outlets)

A coalition of more than 80 advocacy groups, including Prisoners’ Legal Services and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, called on the Massachusetts House and Senate to return to session and revisit legislation that would make phone calls free for prisoners as well as place a five year moratorium on the construction of new jails and prisons.

Below are excerpts from the news coverage.

The Eagle-Tribune (Oct. 25) and The Salem News (Oct. 31):

Bonnie Tenneriello, a staff attorney for Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, said offering free phone calls to prisoners is a “no brainer” that was approved with “broad” legislative support.

“It will remove outrageous charges that burden low-income families of people in prison,” she wrote. “It will help children, spouses and parents stay connected with incarcerated loved ones, and it will help people in prison prepare to succeed on release — all at a very low cost to the state.”

Read more from The Eagle-Tribune and The Salem News.

WWLP (Oct. 26):

“Keeping families connected is key to reducing recidivism, making sure transitions back in the community are smoother, and those things right there keep communities safer,” said Mark Martinez from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

Read more from WWLP.