The Campaign to End Life without Parole (CELWOP), a newly formed coalition, is working to coordinate a state-wide drive to increase public awareness of life without parole sentences in Massachusetts and to galvanize public support to end LWOP.
CELWOP complements efforts by Massachusetts lawmakers to secure passage of H1797, legislation that would eliminate LWOP by mandating parole review eligibility in all instances starting at 25 years of incarceration. The measure would also establish restorative justice programs geared to men and women incarcerated in Massachusetts on sentences in excess of 25 years.
Connecting with faith-based groups, unions, schools and colleges, community-based and activist organizations, CELWOP seeks to challenge the media-driven false narrative that people convicted of violent offenses are irredeemable and undeserving of a second chance.
Per the Sentencing Project:
A record one of every seven people in U.S. prisons is serving a life sentence. While most have committed a violent offense, research finds that people age out of criminal behavior — producing diminishing returns for public safety.
The financial and moral costs of life imprisonment also burden communities by diverting vital resources from crime prevention and social intervention programs.
This country needs a crime policy rooted in research and mercy. It’s time to end life imprisonment.