Patti Muldoon had the opportunity to testify online at the big Judiciary Committee hearing and wants to share with you her written testimony in hopes that others might care to add your own testimony. Written testimony may be submitted by e-mail to or by mail to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, 24 Beacon Street, Room 136, Boston, Massachusetts 02133. Commission staff may be contacted at (617) 722-2396 with any questions.

T o: Joint Judiciary Committee

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I appreciate your continued focus in listening to a full day of impassioned speakers.

I support H.1905/S.2030: Jail & Prison Construction Moratorium.

Having visited a prisoner for eleven years at MCI Framingham, and cried with her over countless stories of her abuse and the abuse of other prisoners, I can confirm that most returning citizens come out of prison more traumatized than when they went in. I speak to the harmful affects of strip searches and mistreatment by correctional officers have on already traumatized women, most of whom have concurrent mental health issues. Saying the planned new prison would be trauma-informed is just marketing, backed up by no research. Prisons are trauma inducing.

Massachusetts has a unique opportunity to right the wrongs we are committing each day to those in jails and prisons because cell beds are at such low capacity (jails at 50-60% and prisons at 34%.) We can stop digging deeper with our failed policies of incarceration. Instead of continuing to spend $70,000 a year per inmate and adding another $50 million in expenditure for an unnecessary, harmful new women’s prison, we could provide detox beds, low income housing and mental health services. With just some of that money the state can establish incarceration alternatives that strengthen our communities, especially our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

I also strongly support H.1797 An Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration and end Life Without Parole, as I know of a mentally ill prisoner given life without parole who sadly just committed suicide. Give hope to prisoners and stop imprisoning seniors who aren’t likely to cause harm ever again.

Another life-saving bill I support is H.1868, An Act Regarding Decarceration and COVID-19. Save lives and save money!

Please vote favorably on H.1798/S.1600, Reduce Reincarceration for Technical Violations of Parole. Why on earth would the State give parole officers the authority to jail someone based on a belief that the person is about to engage in criminal behavior. I can’t understand how that is even legal!

H.1559/S.1900 An Act Relative to Inmate Telephone Calls would support family connections by eliminating charges for prison phone calls. Please support it, so children don’t suffer as much from their parent’s bids and can stay more connected to their moms and dads. It’s the humane thing to do.

Patricia Muldoon
Arlington MA