Three Strikes

The Effects of the Law

For information about the “Three Strikes” law enacted in 2012, and the effects of the other provisions of the law on earned good time credits and mandatory minimum drug sentences, please click here to read the Three Strikes Protocol (PDF).

Facts about the Draft Bills

Please note, the following information deals with the various draft bills that were released during the legislative session in 2011-2012, not the final law.

“Three Strikes” legislation has failed to improve public safety in other states, while diverting needed taxpayer resources to fund overcrowded prisons. Proposed legislation would dramatically increase number of people imprisoned in Massachusetts and the length of incarceration for many prisoners, dramatically increasing the cost to taxpayers.

The bills, H.3818 and S.2080, require judges to impose the maximum sentence — without the possibility of parole — for a long list of crimes when a defendant is convicted for the third time of a crime from the list.  But, this pending legislation is complicated and confusing. To understand what the bills say and how they would affect prisoners, our communities, and the state’s finances, read our factsheets. All are in .pdf format and all will open a new window or tab.

Costs and Impact of the Proposed Legislation

Recent Drafts in Conference Committee

Analysis of the Initial Bills

Also, please take a look at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute’s report Three Strikes: The Wrong Way to Justice.