Tag Archives: incarceration

CHINS reform now!

We need your help to make CHINS Reform a reality.

Your action matters! H.3492 – Families and Children in Need of Services (FACES) or CHINS Reform will be voted on soon!

As you know, we just launched Re-Routing the Prison Pipeline – our five-pronged campaign to reduce crime, criminalization, incarceration and ghetto-ization.

We are working with Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) on one of our top priority bills: H.3492 – Families and Children in Need of Services or CHINS Reform.

Our bill is currently in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We hope the Sentate will debate our bill soon.

EPOCA needs your help today: Tell your Senator that this reform must pass to help children and families get the support services they need in the community today.

The current Children in Need of Services (CHINS) system sends our troubled young people to Juvenile Court and assigns them a Probation Officer – without their ever having committed a crime.

Studies show that children or youths introduced to the criminal justice system are far more likely to be incarcerated later in life than those who haven’t.

Let’s take action to end this pipeline to prison for our children and youth.

CHINS petitions stem from many different conditions, such as mental illness, substance abuse and domestic violence, which require a multiplicity of resources and responses. National data shows that up to 50% of children involved in the juvenile justice system have diagnosable mental health disorders.

Our courts and probation officers do the best they can do, but they are not equipped to help children and families access proper treatment and services.

The FACES system will offer counseling, mentoring and referral services to children and their families – and help them get on the right track.

Please take action – contact your State Senator and ask them to VOTE in FAVOR of H.3492

On Wednesday, July 13, at 10:00 a.m., we will hold a training and make calls to the senate.

Come and join us for this action at our office at:

5 Pleasant Street,
3rd Floor
Worcester, MA 01609

Hope to see you there!

We need your help NOW to see that children are treated within their communities and diverted from the courts whenever possible!

Some thoughts on (possible) sheriff candidate Frank Beshai …

By Rosalie Tirella

It’s one of those weird wonders … Frank Beshai, a good guy AND ex-con in recovery, may be running for Sheriff of Worcester County – again. (We interviewed him in 2004 and endorsed him in his run for sheriff. Back then, we were newer at the game, and Beshai’s talk of seeing the Big House with an insider’s perspective, intrigued us.)

Maybe we have grown wiser … . Don’t get me wrong. I love “Heat of the Night” with Rod Steiger as the old timey sheriff sporting cool aviator glasses and crumby Southern-style hangups.

Frank Beshai would be more at home in “Heat of the Night” than in the Worcester County House of Correction. Beshai would make a great TV/movie sheriff.

But this is 2010 and we’d like to think of Worcester County as a fairly progressive place. A place where we need ideas, experience and … electability. Frank Beshai – during an Oct. 2010 InCity Times interview for his run for the District 3 City Councilor seat – seemed a little … out of it. Weird. A tad creepy. He was just, I don’t know, out to lunch … or out of ideas. Just pushing a turn-the-bums- (read: incumbents)-out ethos.

While it’s OK to be a protest candidate, it is not OK to seem ancient, exhausted, grasping for ideas to hang your brain on … . This is the Frank Beshai of 2010.

While it is nice to know Beshai turned his life around, a “reborn” guy does not make a great sheriff. Beshai should give up politics (he’s been trying to get elected to anything for years) and maybe start a rehab program for ex-offenders, with a Christian twist.

This is probably Frank’s destiny.

Pray on it, Frank.