Over 90% of respondents favor repeal or reform
Media contact: Barbara Dougan, (617) 543-0878 or Mike Riggs, (202) 621-6706
BOSTON – Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is excited to release a collection of surveys detailing how 24 candidates for four offices view mandatory minimum drug laws in Massachusetts. FAMM asked candidates from every major race—including governor, attorney general, governor’s council, and several major district attorney races—four questions about sentencing laws for drug offenses:
- Do you support the repeal of mandatory minimum sentences?
- If not, do you support the reform of mandatory minimum sentencing laws?
- Do you support longer mandatory minimum sentences?
- Do you support additional mandatory minimum sentences?
Of those candidates who responded to FAMM’s survey, 75% favor repealing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Another 17% support reforming Massachusetts’ drug sentencing laws, even though they do not favor full repeal. Only one respondent opposed both repeal and reforms beyond the 2012 changes to the law.
No candidate was in favor of either increasing the length of mandatory minimum sentences or enacting additional mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The full results can be found online and in FAMM’s special report, “Massachusetts Candidate Views on Drug Sentencing Laws.”
“These results confirm that drug sentencing reform is now a mainstream issue,” said Barbara J. Dougan, director of FAMM’s Massachusetts project. “Political candidates in Massachusetts are clearly eager to take a second look at our state’s sentencing policies, just as federal and state legislators across the U.S. are doing.”
In addition, Dougan noted that candidates across the political spectrum support the repeal or reform of mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. “We’ve always known that fair and effective sentencing policies aren’t party-specific,” she said. “Instead, they are about finding the most efficient, effective, and humane ways to protect public safety, reduce recidivism, and treat addiction.”
FAMM will issue an updated report after the September 9 primaries, to reflect the slate of candidates for the general election on November 4.