In order to highlight all of the great work different organizations around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are doing, this calendar aims to serve as a central location for events which are focused on criminal justice reform efforts within both the state and country. If you have an event you would like to add to the calendar, please email details to: director@cjpc.org.


CJPC's Annual Event:
How Media Can Contribute to Criminal Justice Reform

Please join the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition for our annual event. Often criminal justice policy is created from fear generated by the media, but media can also be used towards criminal justice reform as Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow illustrated in 2012. We will have a panel consisting of print journalists and documentary makers who use media to raise issues within the criminal justice system.

CJPC 2015 Flyer


Beth Schwartzapfel:

Beth is the Boston-based staff writer at The Marshall Project, a new non-profit news organization dedicated to covering the criminal justice system. She was awarded the June 2014 Sidney Award and was the runner-up for the John Jay College/H.F. Guggenheim Prize for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting in both 2013 and 2014. Her work has appeared in Mother Jones, the New York Times, the Nation, and Ms, among other newspapers and magazines. Beth earned a B.A. in English with honors in creative writing, from Brown University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the New School. At the New School, her graduate thesis was a book-length work of narrative journalism about hepatitis C and addiction. Before becoming a journalist, Beth worked as an outreach worker and educator at a HIV/hepatitis C clinic. CJPC is honored to share office space for her.

Read her work in The Marshall Project here.

Jason Pugatch and Max McHahon:

Jason is a Cambridge native, who in conjunction with Max is filming the documentary The Joe Donovan Project, which is about Joe Donovan, who was a juvenile sentenced to life without the possibility of parole before the 2012 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama. Jason attended school with Donovan and became interested in his case immediately following the news of the killing. During the years Donovan spent in prison, Pugatch graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, then earned an MFA from the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and the Moscow Art Theater. After years as a professional actor in New York and Los Angeles, Pugatch turned to writing and directing. His first screenplay became the feature film Coach. He continues to write for film and television while exploring new avenues of filmmaking. His debut short film, The Pact, won the jury prize for Best Narrative Short at the 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival. This will be his first documentary film, one born from an unconsummated need to tell Donovan’s story to the world.

Max is a social worker specializing in youth work, violence prevention and conflict resolution. Max is an experienced interviewer, trainer and facilitator. Max has an interest in personal narratives, oral histories and the exploration of meaning uncovered through dialogue, conversation and reflection. Max was raised in Cambridge and received a Master of Social Work from Boston University.

Darius Clark Monroe:

Houstonian Darius Clark Monroe is an award-winning filmmaker and MFA graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He's a National Board of Review, HBO Short Film, and Urbanworld Best Screenplay award recipient. Most recently, he was selected to the prestigious Screenwriters Colony, and chosen as a fellow at the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive. Monroe's feature debut, Evolution of a Criminal Film, World Premiered at SXSW 2014. Awards: Grand Jury Prize (Full Frame), Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award (Full Frame), Special Jury Prize (Dallas International Film Festival). Support: Tribeca All Access, Austin Film Society Grant, Warner Bros. Film Award, Cinereach Grant, Charles and Lucille King Finishing Award, Spike Lee Fellowship, Tribeca On-Track Grant, IFP Documentary Lab, Rooftop Filmmaker's/DCTV Grant, IDFA Forum.

Learn more about him here.

Jean Trounstine:

Jean Trounstine is an activist, writer, and professor emerita at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts, who worked at Framingham MCI for ten years where she directed eight plays with women. Her highly-praised book about that work, Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison catapulted her into activism and writing. She has spoken around the world on women in prison, co-founded the women’s branch of Changing Lives Through Literature, an award-winning alternative sentencing program featured in The New York Times and on The Today Show, and co-authored two books about the program. Jean is on the steering committee of the Coalition for Effective Public Safety in Massachusetts, and is currently working on a new book about the tragedy of sentencing juveniles to adult prisons. She takes apart the justice system brick by brick on twitter @justicewithjean and with her blogs--Boston Magazine Online, Truth-out.org, The Rag Blog, and jeantrounstine.com.

Moderated by Michael Blanding:

Michael Blanding is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute of Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University who writes frequently on criminal justice issues. His work has appeared in publications including WIRED, Slate, The New Republic, The Nation, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Boston magazine. His first book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink, was published by Avery/Penguin in 2010. His latest, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, was published by Gotham Books in June 2014 and named a bestseller by the New England Independent Booksellers Association.

We will also be honoring Fred Smith, longtime CJPC board member, for the Peg Erlanger Award for outstanding service to criminal justice reform in Massachusetts. Fred Smith is the former Director of Program Development for St. Francis House, Inc., New England’s largest Day Shelter serving poor and homeless individuals in Boston, MA. In his nineteen years with SFH he helped develop and manage virtually all of the award winning rehabilitation and housing program the agency offers including the Moving Ahead Program (MAP) and the Next Step Residential Program. He championed the agency’s response to serve, in particular, the sex offender population. Over fifty Level 3 offenders have completed MAP and, currently, seventeen live in the 56 single room occupancy, co-ed Next Step Residential Program. Mr. Smith sponsored the hiring, by SFH, of 3 full-time employees who had a Level 3 status. Additionally, he has testified at dozens of Section 9 and 12 proceedings as well as countless SORB hearings. Upon release from custody, Mr. Smith has picked up, transported and assisted countless sex offenders in negotiating the economic, social and legal mine field that this special population faces “on the street”. On occasion he assumed guardianship of older, infirmed and “familyless” offenders who were no longer able to make medical decisions for themselves.

Mr. Smith has spoken at numerous educational, informational and political forums in an effort to promote sane public policy, humane treatment and reasonable accommodations for a population of individuals who are systematically marginalized and abused by both public and private institutions. He brings a unique perspective to the issue of public safety and sex offenders as a result of his personal experience of adopting and raising three children who were victims of sex abuse in their birth and foster homes. In one case, he was deeply involved in the prosecution and, ultimately, determining the penalty of an abuser.

Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Political Science and has received much training in treating Addictions, Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders from Boston University, Dartmouth College and Harvard Medical School. In his early career as an Archivist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts he wrote several legislative histories of state agencies including the Departments of Corrections, Mental Health and Public Welfare. In recent years, Mr. Smith has received several awards of recognition from local, statewide and national organizations and government agencies.

In “retirement”, Mr. Smith is continuing his work developing employment opportunities for the legions of individuals who find themselves functionally unemployable and unhouseable. If you have any questions, please email: director@cjpc.org.
CEPS Community Forum Flyer


Coalition for Effective Public Safety (CEPS) Community Forum

Wednesday, October 1
Egleston YMCA
3134 Washington Street
Boston, MA

Come learn more and participate in a discussion about parole,
solitary confinement and medical release reform efforts in Massachusetts.

The program will be in both Spanish and English.


Jobs Not Jails Reconvening

Saturday, September 27
Freedom House
5 Crawford Street
Dorchester, MA

Jobs Not Jails   Join the Jobs Not Jails Coalition as we begin the visioning process.

This will include an evaluation of what Jobs Not Jails has done so far.

We look forward to hearing from voices old and new! Jobs Not Jails is a statewide coalition to redirect costly prison spending towards jobs, training and support for Massachusetts' lowest income communities.

Massachusetts Bail Fund Organizing Meeting
Worcester County

Wednesday, September 10
Stone Soup
4 King Street
Worcester, MA 01610

Bagel Bail Brunch Fundraiser at Cambridge Co-Housing

Sunday, September 21

Thursday, July 31, 6-7:30pm:

The Massachusetts Bail Fund Forum
at Stone Soup
4 King Street
Worcester, MA 01610

The Massachusetts Bail Fund is a project of CJPC. Research suggests that people who are held during the pretrial period are more likely to be convicted and receive harsher sentences than those who are released on bail. The Massachusetts Bail Fund helps low income and poor residents to meet bail, so that they have a better chance of getting a fairer sentence if convicted. The forum will be an opportunity to learn what the Bail Fund has done thus far and what still needs to be done. Join us in a conversation.

bail fund forum boston