SECTION 1. Chapter 27 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 8. There shall be established in the department of correction an office of recidivism reduction research. The office shall evaluate the effects that prison programs, including, but not limited to, work, education and recovery programs, have on reducing recidivism in the commonwealth and the cost such programs save through recidivism reduction. The office shall make recommendations to the commissioner of the department of correction as to how such programs may be improved and expanded across the correctional system, in particular how to expand program engagement strategy and cognitive behavioral therapy programs to correctional facilities across the commonwealth.
SECTION 2. Chapter 127 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 170. Every medium and maximum security correctional facility in the commonwealth shall establish a program engagement strategy, or PES, which shall utilize incentives and consequences in an effort to increase prisoner participation in prison programs and decrease program refusal or termination. The programs eligible for inclusion in PES may include, but shall not be limited to, any educational, work-related, substance abuse, recovery, treatment, self-improvement, violence or recidivism reduction, reentry, reintegration, and behavioral management programs; provided, that cognitive behavioral therapy modeled programs shall be eligible for PES inclusion.
Incentives to increase program participation may include, but shall not be limited to, good time sentence reductions and reduced prisoner classification rating. Consequences for refusing to participate in or termination from a program may include, but not be limited to, loss of preferred housing, work assignment, seniority or program placement.
The department of correction may promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to implement this section.
SECTION 3. Every medium and maximum security correctional facility shall offer at least 1 program engagement strategy eligible cognitive behavioral therapy modeled program pursuant to section 170 of chapter 127 of the General Laws by January 1, 2024.
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