This is still a work in progress; this draft shadows the format of the Draft Platform better and is, I hope clearer. The Amendment would seek to strike out what is currently in the Draft Platform as Aritcle VIII and insert the following:
Proposed Amendment to the Draft Platform
In place of “Article VIII Public Safety and Crime Prevention” insert:
Article VIII Open Courts, Access to Justice, and Public Safety
As Democrats, we understand that crime originates from many causes, including but not limited to addiction, poverty, and mental illness. We therefore reaffirm our commitment to a sufficiency of treatment beds for addiction, the elimination of poverty in our lifetime, and a sufficiency and availability of treatment providers for mental illness to end the so-called “school to prison pipeline”. As Democrats, we believe that public safety requires not only support for vigorous enforcement of laws, but the elimination of crime through social change.
Massachusetts Democrats fully support Article XI of the Massachusetts Constitution, the “Open Courts Clause”, which states: Every subject of the commonwealth ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and without delay; conformably to the laws.
Therefore, Massachusetts Democrats support:
a. The Judicial Branch as a co-equal branch of government, fully funded to ensure access to justice across the entire Commonwealth
b. Access to justice which includes, but is not limited to, all indigent legal defense mandated by G.L.c.211D, civil legal services, prison legal advisors, and Mental Health Legal Advisors.
c. As Massachusetts Democrats, we affirm that an independent judiciary is essential to democracy and therefore commit to full support for the judicial branch of government.
d. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform including the sealing of juvenile records, and minimizing the impact of non-conviction and non violent CORI on employment, including an accessible, rational process for correcting and amending inaccurate CORI.
e. Minimizing incarceration, so only those who truly present a danger to society are incarcerated; Massachusetts Democrats deplore the current situation where a greater amount is spent on incarceration every year then is spent on higher education.