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Community Resources for Justice records

 Collection
Identifier: M182

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the records of Community Resources for Justice and its predecessor organizations, beginning with the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1878.

Older organizations are represented mainly through their annual reports and publications. More recent organizations, including the United Prison Association and the Massachusetts Correctional Association, as well as Community Resources for Justice's immediate predecessors Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. and the Crime and Justice Foundation, are represented through a broader range of materials including publications and reports, correspondence, meeting minutes produced by the boards of directors and committees, financial statements, and bylaws.

The collection is organized into three series. Series 1 documents Community Resources for Justice from its establishment in 1999 until 2008. Series 2 documents the Crime and Justice Foundation and its predecessors, from 1878 until 1999. Series 3 documents Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. from its founding in 1964 until 1999.

Dates

  • 1878-2008

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

The New England Society for the Suppression of Vice was founded in 1878 to "[promote] public morality and [remove] corrupting agencies by means moral or legal." The organization influenced legislation and operated as an independent law enforcement agency, investigating and prosecuting obscenity, gambling, and prostitution. In 1891, the organization became the New England Watch and Ward Society. Under this name, the group continued its enforcement, prosecution, and legislative advocacy efforts; the Society also turned its attention towards battling organized crime. In 1957, the organization was renamed the New England Citizens Crime Commission. Its most prominent action in this incarnation was the investigation that uncovered police involvement in illegal betting which resulted in the television documentary "Biography of a Bookie Joint." In 1967, following two short-lived name changes, the organization became the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and focused its efforts on crime prevention, including attempts to restrict access to handguns which encountered strong resistance from gun owners' groups.

The Massachusetts Prison Association began in 1889 and advocated for reform in areas such as prisoner classification, overcrowding, parole, juvenile justice, and prison conditions. The Massachusetts Prison Association also compiled and published information on the causes and costs of crime.

Reverend Frederick Baylies Allen, superintendent of the Episcopal City Mission, and Albert Arnold, ex-offender and operator of the Clark Street Rescue Mission, founded the John Howard Industrial Home for Discharged Prisoners in 1890. The John Howard Industrial Home provided recently released prisoners with temporary housing, employment, food, clothing, and medical care. The organization's headquarters moved several times, beginning in a saloon and ending in a mansion. In 1937, the organization broadened its mission and changed its name to the John Howard Society. The John Howard Society received from the Industrial Aid Society the services of a social worker who could provide emergency support services to ex-offenders, including meal tickets, rent assistance, and job referrals.

Friends of Prisoners was formed in 1935 as an organization for women to assist prisoners. Because the chaplain at Deer Island had convened the group, it began its work with the families of the men imprisoned there; the women members of Friends of Prisoners wanted to work directly with inmates but were prohibited from visiting male prisoners. By December of 1935, Friends of Prisoners had begun to visit the Framingham Reformatory, Massachusetts' women's prison. During its short lifespan, Friends of Prisoners struggled to maintain a large enough active membership to perform the volunteer work that was the group's mission: providing support to women without other social support structures. After merger into the United Prison Association in 1940, the work of Friends of Prisoners was carried out by a relatively autonomous committee which continued to use the Friends of Prisoners name.

The Massachusetts Prison Association, the John Howard Society, and Friends of Prisoners merged in 1940. The resultant organization, the United Prison Association, continued the missions of each of its predecessors: support for a more effective correctional system, social services for ex-offenders, and community outreach to prisoners. The United Prison Association became the Massachusetts Correctional Association in 1967.

In 1964, Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. (MHHI) was founded to assist ex-offenders with the transition from incarceration to freedom. The organization rented 79 Chandler Street and, after some renovations, the fifteen-bed facility, known as Brooke House, opened on November 17, 1965. 31 men resided at Brooke House over the course of its first year of operation, and 23 of them remained out of prison. Residents were required to pay rent at a rate of $15 per week, attend scheduled counseling appointments, and contribute to Brooke House's upkeep. After three years, MHHI purchased the Brooke House building, and it became a multi-service center in 1971. In 1975, the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board, in conjunction with MHHI, developed a twelve-month residential program for substance abuse offenders; program participants were on pre-release status in prison for the first six months and on parole at the MHHI residence at 577 Massachusetts Avenue for the second six months. In 1967, MHHI established a federally chartered credit union to provide financial services to ex-offenders. MHHI expanded its services to women offenders in 1975 by adding 20 spaces for women at its Coolidge House facility. In 1977, the organization began offering services to juvenile offenders through the Joseph M. Ambrose House; MHHI opened additional juvenile programs in 1982 (Metropolitan Group Home at Sargent House) and 1983 (Hastings House for juveniles ages 13-18). The Probation Residential Program, the first residential alternative program for probation violators, began in 1979. By 1982, Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. operated five residential facilities for adults and two for juveniles, plus six non-residential programs. In 1987, MHHI sponsored Stigma, an international conference for halfway houses and related services.

The loss of several funding sources in the early 1970s prompted the 1975 merger of the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and the Massachusetts Correctional Association to become the Crime and Justice Foundation. During the merger process, the Massachusetts Correctional Association moved into 3 Joy Street, also home to the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction. On February 5, 1975, the building was gutted by a fire. Shortly after the merger, the Crime and Justice Foundation's non-profit status was investigated in relation to its legislative advocacy.

In 1999, Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. and the Crime and Justice Foundation merged, forming Community Resources for Justice (CRJ). CRJ continues the missions of both its predecessors: providing services to ex-offenders to re-integrate them into society, and reforming the criminal justice system through public policy development. CRJ also provides services to adults with intellectual disabilities; the Community Strategies department operates 24 group homes in three states. The Social Justice Services department, successor to MHHI, operates five adult halfway houses in three states and three youth residential facilities in Massachusetts. The Crime and Justice Institute, successor to the Crime and Justice Foundation, has worked in 13 states as of 2011.

Chronology

  • 1878 New England Society for the Suppression of Vice founded.
  • 1889 Massachusetts Prison Association founded.
  • 1890 John Howard Industrial Home for Discharged Prisoners founded.
  • 1891 New England Society for the Suppression of Vice renamed to New England Watch and Ward Society.
  • 1935 Friends of Prisoners founded.
  • 1937 John Howard Industrial Home renamed to John Howard Society.
  • 1940 United Prison Association formed through the merger of the Massachusetts Prison Association, the John Howard Society, and Friends of Prisoners.
  • 1957 New England Watch and Ward Society renamed to New England Citizens Crime Commission.
  • 1961 New England Citizens Crime Commission renamed to Massachusetts Council on Crime and Delinquency.
  • 1964 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. founded.
  • 1965 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Brooke House at 79 Chandler Street, Boston.
  • 1967 Massachusetts Council on Crime and Delinquency renamed Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction. United Prison Association renamed Massachusetts Correctional Association. Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. charters a federal credit union to provide financial services to ex-offenders.
  • 1971 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc.'s Brooke House becomes a multi-service center.
  • 1973 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Coolidge House at 307 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
  • 1975 Offices of Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and Massachusetts Correctional Association at 3 Joy Street damaged by fire. Crime and Justice Foundation formed through the merger of the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and the Massachusetts Correctional Association. Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens 699 House (later George M. McGrath House) and 577 House (later Mary E. Sargent House), and Coolidge House adds 20 beds for women offenders.
  • 1977 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Joseph M. Ambrose House for juvenile offenders.
  • 1979 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens the Probation Residential Program, the first residential alternative program for probation violators.
  • 1982 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens the Metropolitan Group Home for juveniles at Sargent House.
  • 1983 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Hastings House for juveniles ages 13-18.
  • 1987 Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. hosts STIGMA, an international conference for halfway houses and related services.
  • 1999 Community Resources for Justice formed through the merger of Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. and the Crime and Justice Foundation.
  • 2003 Brooke House moved from 79 Chandler Street in the South End to a new location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. Community Resources for Justice launches Community Heroes award.
1878
New England Society for the Suppression of Vice founded.
1889
Massachusetts Prison Association founded.
1890
John Howard Industrial Home for Discharged Prisoners founded.
1891
New England Society for the Suppression of Vice renamed to New England Watch and Ward Society.
1935
Friends of Prisoners founded.
1937
John Howard Industrial Home renamed to John Howard Society.
1940
United Prison Association formed through the merger of the Massachusetts Prison Association, the John Howard Society, and Friends of Prisoners.
1957
New England Watch and Ward Society renamed to New England Citizens Crime Commission.
1961
New England Citizens Crime Commission renamed to Massachusetts Council on Crime and Delinquency.
1964
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. founded.
1965
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Brooke House at 79 Chandler Street, Boston.
1967
Massachusetts Council on Crime and Delinquency renamed Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction. United Prison Association renamed Massachusetts Correctional Association. Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. charters a federal credit union to provide financial services to ex-offenders.
1971
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc.'s Brooke House becomes a multi-service center.
1973
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Coolidge House at 307 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
1975
Offices of Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and Massachusetts Correctional Association at 3 Joy Street damaged by fire. Crime and Justice Foundation formed through the merger of the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction and the Massachusetts Correctional Association. Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens 699 House (later George M. McGrath House) and 577 House (later Mary E. Sargent House), and Coolidge House adds 20 beds for women offenders.
1977
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Joseph M. Ambrose House for juvenile offenders.
1979
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens the Probation Residential Program, the first residential alternative program for probation violators.
1982
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens the Metropolitan Group Home for juveniles at Sargent House.
1983
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. opens Hastings House for juveniles ages 13-18.
1987
Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. hosts STIGMA, an international conference for halfway houses and related services.
1999
Community Resources for Justice formed through the merger of Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc. and the Crime and Justice Foundation.
2003
Brooke House moved from 79 Chandler Street in the South End to a new location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. Community Resources for Justice launches Community Heroes award.

Extent

20.75 cubic feet (22 containers)

Overview

Community Resources for Justice formed in 1999 as a successor to multiple Boston- and New England-area organizations devoted to criminal justice, prisoner or released prisoner support, and correctional reform. Community Resources for Justice's immediate predecessors were the Crime and Justice Foundation, a group devoted to correctional reform, and Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc., which owned and operated residential and non-residential programs for ex-offenders. The Crime and Justice Foundation was itself the successor to criminal justice organizations dating back to 1878, including the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice, New England Watch and Ward Society, United Prison Association, and Massachusetts Correctional Association.

Overview

The collection documents the activities of Community Resources for Justice and its predecessor organizations, beginning with the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1878. The collection includes annual reports; publications, reports, and studies; correspondence, meeting minutes of boards and committees, financial statements, and bylaws. The more recent organizations, beginning with the United Prison Association, are documented through a wider variety of materials than older organizations.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into 3 series: Series 1. Community Resources for Justice; Series 2. Crime and Justice Foundation; Series 3. Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc.

Physical Location

51/4, 52/4

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Received from John Larivee of Community Resources for Justice in seven accessions, beginning in February 2007.
Title
Finding aid for the Community Resources for Justice Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Dominique Medal
Date
July 2013
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US