A new bill in Massachusetts, if passed, would allow the potential for inmates to have their sentences reduced if they donate organs or bone marrow to help provide "life-saving treatment" for black and Latino people.
Democrat state Representatives Carlos Gonzalez and Judith Garcia introduced HD.3822, which would allow for a reduction in sentences by no less than 60 days and no more than 365 days.
"The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program shall allow eligible incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than 365 day reduction in the length of their committed sentence in Department of Corrections facilities, or House of Correction facilities if they are serving a Department of Correction sentence in a House of Corrections facility, on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s)," the bill reads.
“In my view, there is no compelling reason to bar inmates from this,” Gonzalez said, according to AOL/The Miami Herald.
“Broadening the pool of potential donors is an effective way to increase the likelihood of Black and Latino family members and friends receiving life-saving treatment," the state representative added.
Rep. Garcia posted a series of images to her Twitter page, outlining her reasoning for the bill. First and foremost, the graphic mentions "Black and Hispanic folks 3X more likely to fatally contract COVID than white and Asian American peers in MA."
The image also claims that non-white residents of Massachusetts receive "lower quality of treatment than white peers."
It also states there is "currently no path to organ or bone marrow donation for incarcerated folks in MA – even for relatives.”
If passed, the bill would create a committee that would consist of five members, including the Department of Corrections commissioner, the medical director of the Department of Corrections, or a designated representative for either position. In addition, the board would include a bone marrow or donation specialist from a Massachusetts hospital and a representative of the District Attorneys Association in the state.
The committee would then send annual reports that detail “actual amounts of bone marrow and organ(s) donated, and the estimated life-savings associated with said donations,” to be filed with the executive and legislative branches of the Commonwealth.
All costs and money generated will not go to the correctional system, however, with the bill stating that costs associated with the program are to be paid by the "benefiting institutions."
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