June 28th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOSTON– Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts’ (PLS) Board President Patricia Garin announced today that PLS’ Executive Director, Elizabeth Matos, will be leaving in September to join the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office as Civil Rights Division Chief and Senior Advisor to Attorney General Andrea Campbell.
“It was with mixed emotions that the Board of Directors accepted Lizz’s decision,” Garin said. “Lizz has been a pillar of this organization for over a decade, and it has grown tremendously during her tenure as executive director. We know she will continue to uplift marginalized people in Massachusetts in her new role with the Attorney General’s Office.”
“It has been heartening watching the organization grow in size and scope under Lizz’s leadership. Over the past five years, PLS has developed innovative projects to better serve incarcerated people and pursued new intersectional approaches to addressing the critical needs of all incarcerated people.”
Matos joined PLS in 2011, serving as a staff attorney until her promotion to executive director in 2018.
“PLS has been like a family to me,” Matos said. “Many of us share this feeling. The work is intense as is the passion, dedication, and commitment we all bring to it. Many of us have been or are impacted by incarceration. We care deeply and understand that supporting each other when we really need it is part of who we are and how we sustain ourselves in this work.”
“I want to thank our clients, staff, supporters, and PLS’ board for your unwavering support and partnership. I look forward to witnessing the continued success of PLS under new leadership, and I will forever remain grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside such remarkable individuals.”
During Matos’ tenure, PLS’ staff and operating budget have grown considerably. The organization made significant contributions to policy reforms, such as the passage of the landmark Criminal Justice Reform Act, improving conditions in carceral facilities, and reducing the incarcerated population. It has also litigated multiple class action lawsuits, bringing greater transparency, accountability, and relief for its clients.
Matos redefined the organization’s mission to center anti-racism in its work and oversaw the creation of new projects that focus on racial and gender discrimination. The organization has also expanded its capacity for medical advocacy and pro bono referral to better meet client needs.
The Board of Directors has formed a search committee and will immediately begin its search for an Interim Executive Director while the search for Matos’ replacement is carried out. “Finding a leader capable of filling Lizz’s shoes is a formidable task,” said Garin. “But nothing we do in this line of work is easy.”
For media inquiries, please contact PLS Communications and Development Coordinator Aaron Steinberg at email@example.com.
Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts is an organization committed to being anti-racist and whose mission is to challenge the carceral system through litigation, advocacy, client counseling, partnership with impacted individuals and communities, and outreach to policymakers and the public in order to promote the human rights of incarcerated persons and end harmful confinement. The office prioritizes work involving health and mental health care, assaults by staff, extreme conditions of confinement (including COVID, overcrowding, exorbitant prison phone rates), misuse of segregation and isolation, and racial equity.