Lawmakers work on changes to prison visitation policies

By Jodi Reed | Nov 16, 2019

A bill before the Public Safety Committee right now aims to remove some of the rules that people must follow when trying to visit their loved ones behind bars.

The bill, filed by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz would remove the limitations on the number of individuals who may be eligible to visit an inmate.

Currently, when people try to visit someone incarcerated they have to first be approved and follow strict guidelines before, during and after their visit.

Senator Chang-Diaz said the current policies in place make it hard for inmates to return to civilian life once they are released.

“Ninty to 95 percent of folks who are serving time in our jails and prisons in Massachusetts are coming back to our communities and we want to make sure they’re prepared for successful re-entry by having strong community connections, strong family relationships that are going to sustain them both through the rehabilitation process and into re-entry,” Senator Change Diaz said.

If passed, the bill would also remove certain punishments like taking away phone time or canceling visitations in an attempt to lower recidivism rates.

Dozens of supporters testified in favor of the bill earlier this week, and more than 20 lawmakers have also voiced their support so it is expected to receive a favorable review from the committee.

View Senator Chang-Díaz's full comments on the bill here


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is available without profit for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Latest News

Bill enacts reforms to raise police accountability standards, shift resources to communities and build equity, justice and fairness

Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz speaks after the second day of delaying debate on the Senate's Reform, Shift + Build Act

The Massachusetts Senate plans to vote Thursday on a wide-ranging bill that would create a process for certifying and de-certifying officers and impose new limits on use of force, including a ban on chokeholds and restrictions on the use of tear gas.

Copyright © 2019 by

Office of State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz

MA State House, Rm 111

24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

(617) 722-1673 | sonia.chang-diaz@masenate.gov