The Massachusetts legislative session ends July 31, 2016. There’s still time to enact criminal justice reform this session. If you are convicted of larceny of items over $250, it is a felony here in Massachusetts. The present $250 threshold is unjust because it captures many low level offenses and makes felons of countless people. Any felony carries a heavy stigma, creates barriers to jobs, and contributes to reliance on public assistance. There also is a 10 year waiting period to seal criminal records for low level offenses because they are classified as felonies. Increasing the threshold to $1500 would help many young people and numerous others who are trapped in poverty and unemployment for what were actually low level offenses. Massachusetts is an outlier with an outdated $250 threshold enacted in 1987. Every state in the U.S. has a higher amount except New Jersey ($200) and Virginia ($200). It’s time to raise the felony threshold.
Take one minute to write your State Representative and share that Massachusetts needs to raise the felony threshold to continue towards #JobsNotJails.