Posts by: Bridget Conley

The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that place a 5-year moratorium on building new prisons in the state. On June 20, 2021, the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight held a hearing on the proposed legislation, inviting public testimony. I spoke — alongside impressive and often deeply moving testimony from around 50 […]

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Photo: Srebrenica Genocide Memorial or Srebrenica–Potočari Memorial. Courtesy of Jelle Visser, July 27, 2017, @ Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Millions of dollars, hours, words of testimony, reams of paper, investments in hope and anguish later, it is difficult to say much about the June 8, 2021 decision of the Appeals Court of the […]

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Why is it important to have clarity and consistency in data, especially related to deaths? In the first instance, all people deserve dignity in death, no matter the situation or circumstances of dying. At the most basic level, their deaths count; and the accounting should be accurate. People who died while incarcerated were the under direct care and responsibility of the state. Because the state has claimed this responsibility, the lives – and deaths – of incarcerated people are of public concern. Further, these numbers are not overwhelming. There is no reason that the DOC should be unable to produce an accurate public record. Finally, while it has been extremely difficult to verify the accuracy of information released by the DOC on some matters, like testing and positive cases, the inaccuracies regarding deaths give credence to concerns that the overall data DOC has released on the COVID-19 outbreaks in Massachusetts’ prisons contains flaws.

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This transcript provides testimony from Eyewitness A, a woman originally from Axum, a small city in Tigray, Ethiopia. She had moved to the US many years ago, and returned to visit family in Fall 2020. She was in Axum when Eritrean forces invaded and became an eyewitness to atrocities.

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Ethiopia’s history includes too many dead from political violence. There are long histories, but even if we start only from the overthrow of the imperial regime in 1974, the lines are traumatic, winding their way through cities strewn with bodies of children killed at night, famine ravaged villages, battlefields in the north, east and west, […]

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Michael Cox is the executive director of Black & Pink Massachusetts, and administrator of the Massachusetts Bail Fund. In this interview, he discusses how, after his experience of being incarcerated, he re-directed his focus towards advocacy for and with incarcerated LGBTQ and HIV/AIDs+ people.

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