Almost 100 medical professionals sign letter of support for Primary Caretakers

Our colleagues at Human Impact Partners have gathered support for our Primary Caretakers legislation from 94 public health professionals and 9 public health agencies. Primary Caretakers (Senate Bill 770) would expand the ability to set community-based sentences for parents and is currently being considered by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Primary Caretakers is a practical, viable step towards real alternatives to incarceration in the Commonwealth.

According to doctors and health providers: “Alternatives like drug and alcohol treatment, vocational training and job placement, parenting classes, and safe housing show lower recidivism rates than incarceration. Studies show that parents who are convicted but able to remain with or near their children have reduced substance use, higher completion rates for their programs, improved parenting skills, and foster healthier child development.”

Medical and public health professionals recognize that incarceration is inherently harmful to parents, children, and entire communities, and now is the time to pass legislation that would expand alternatives. “Community safety is crucial to public health, but incarcerating primary caretakers of children leads to future safety issues. It is time for Massachusetts to lead the nation in decreasing incarceration of people who are primary caretakers of children. By using alternative sentencing, Massachusetts can create safe, stable, and nurturing environments for children and families. Parents who have committed crimes often do so because of harms they have experienced, or lack of access to opportunity. Getting parents the services, support, and treatment to enable them to care for their children will mean safer communities for us all.”

Read the full letter here.


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