CSJ members share Testimony on July 11th, 2019 in favor of Creating Standards on Use of Force in Prisons & Jails
Ron Royse and Immanual Pizarro, two people who have seen and experienced excessive violence when they were incarcerated, detailed their experiences to the Joint Committee on Public Safety on July 11th. The purpose of their testimonies were to demonstrate to Committee members that unregulated use of force, both physical, chemical, and animal needs to be regulated and practices need to be made transparent. They were sponsored by CSJ, in conjunction with the Jobs Not Jails Coalition and other criminal legal reformers, such as Prisoners Legal Services.
The 2 men mentioned Norfolk, Billerica, and Bristol where they saw excessive uses of force. Mr. Royse himself was subject to a beating that broke 3 ribs and his nose because guards thought he was a member of a notorious crime family. Mr. Pizarro detailed one incident of “back talking” that resulted in some guards seriously injuring the person.
S1362 and H2087 would examine the disciplinary practices and establish standards that would be uniform throughout the system. It would also prohibit use of kenetic impact weapons and law enforcement K-9’s; regulate the use of chemical agents and restraint chairs; required data collection on incidents of force; and requiring body cameras in incidents involving force.