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Healthcare Workers Praise Progress on Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform

Boston, MA (October 12, 2017) – Responding to the press conference about criminal justice reform hosted today by Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Senator William Brownsberger, Tyrék D. Lee, Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, issued the following statement:

“As healthcare workers, we know that the wellbeing of a community is linked to access to quality, affordable care as well as social determinants that create poor health and poor outcomes. To that end, we believe that it is our professional and moral responsibility to address the systemic injustice in our current criminal justice system.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal justice reform legislation released this week takes a significant step forward to develop responsible public policy that will stop the prison pipeline and help end mass incarceration in our Commonwealth. Equally important, the bill includes provisions that are critical to reducing barriers to employment and building economic opportunity for all, particularly in communities of color where our members live and work.

We thank Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg and Speaker DeLeo for initiating a robust dialogue on this important issue, and we are encouraged by the progress we have made to date. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with all stakeholders and our allies in the Senate and House to pass thoughtful, comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation that can be signed into law by the Governor this session. Together, we will advance our shared belief that by reforming key aspects of our criminal justice system, we will build healthy and equitable communities across Massachusetts.”

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Representing more than 56,000 healthcare workers throughout Massachusetts and over 400,000 workers across the East Coast, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all. 1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union.