Massachusetts inmates are only allowed a certain number of approved visitors which can exclude members of a large family, so the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus are working to fix that.
Springfield State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, who chairs of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, said he’s been working with the Public Safety Secretary Thomas Turco to change the outdated prison policy.
By doing so, public safety officials are hoping to lower the rates of former inmates committing new crimes and returning to the Massachusetts prison system.
“When families tend to stay involved in the prisoner’s life it helps with rehabilitation,” Rep. Gonzalez said.
The caucus has worked to raise the number of visitors from five to eight for maximum security inmates, and from eight to 10 for inmates in the general population.
The new policy was put in place at the Hampden County House of Corrections, where inmates are allowed two one-hour visits each week.
A visitation center employee told 22News that they see a total of about 120 visitors a day in Ludlow.
They also said they’ve seen no difference in visitation rates since the policy was implemented on March 1.
The caucus said one of their objectives is to make it easier to fill out the visitation application so that more people can visit their loved ones in prison.