New Acquisitions: Criminal Justice and Discharged Prisoner Services Collections
Northeastern University Libraries is pleased to announce the acquisition of the historical records of Community Resources for Justice and its predecessor organizations, the Massachusetts Correctional Association, Crime and Justice Foundation, and Massachusetts Half-Way Houses. These rich collections document prison reform and social services to former inmates in Massachusetts, and they contribute to the University Archives and Special Collection Department's collecting focus on the records of private, non-profit, community-based organizations that are concerned with social justice issues. View a list of the Department's special collections.
In 1940, the United Prison Association of Massachusetts was formed to provide social services for discharged prisoners, to legislate for a more effective state correctional system, and to disseminate information on correctional matters. The organization changed its name in 1967 to the Massachusetts Correctional Association when the term "correctional" became favored over "prison". In 1975, due to the proliferation of social service agencies founded during the nation's War on Poverty and the lessened availability of funding, the Massachusetts Correctional Association merged with the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction. The resulting agency was named the Crime and Justice Foundation. Its mission was to prevent crime and to enhance the quality of justice in Massachusetts by developing public understanding of issues in the administration of criminal justice and the need for action geared toward their improvement. Almost 25 years later in 1999, the Crime and Justice Foundation merged with Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, which had been founded in 1964 to provide rehabilitative facilities and services to former criminal offenders, to form Community Resources for Justice. The mission of this new organization is to promote a safe and just society for all people through direct care programs. Community Resources for Justice advocates for system improvement, conducts research, and publishes the results. It works with individuals in, or at risk of being in, the adult or juvenile justice systems; individuals transitioning out of these systems back to their communities; and individuals with developmental disabilities requiring intensive support to be part of the community.
The material, dating from 1939-2002, documents the predecessor organizations of Community Resources for Justice in addition to its current programs: adult correctional services (residential and non-residential services to adults who are currently involved or have been involved with Federal, State and County correctional systems, and Parole and Probation agencies), youth services (serving at-risk and delinquent youth with counseling, treatment and education), community strategies (providing individuals with mental illness or mental retardation, severe psychiatric or developmental disabilities, or complex medical needs with specialized services), and the Crime and Justice Institute (improving public safety and human service delivery with creative, collaborative approaches to today's most pressing and complex social and public safety problems). The records include bylaws, correspondence, board and committee minutes, annual reports, research reports, contracts, annual budgets and audits, county correctional plans, and policy manuals.