Criminal Justice

Hodgson proposal little more than self-promotion

Hodgson proposal little more than self-promotion

Prisoners should not be treated as pawns

I WAS DISGUSTED to learn of Bristol County’s Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s proposal to send prisoners off to work on Trump’s wall. Of course, even if construction on the wall ever starts (which is doubtful), Hodgson’s plan will never come to fruition. His plan is logistically impossible, and he likely lacks the legal authority to send(...)

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A Massachusetts freedom agenda

A Massachusetts freedom agenda

We must push back against threats of a Trump presidency

THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION election unleashed forces of racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and authoritarianism that, we now know, have been simmering just beneath the surface of the collective American polity. But the election of a president who campaigned on threats to dismantle protections for the least among us also has mobilized millions of freedom-loving people to(...)

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Activists interrupt criminal justice meeting

Activists interrupt criminal justice meeting

Advocates worried reform bill won’t address sentencing issues

CHANTING “JOBS NOT JAIL,” advocates for criminal justice reform briefly disrupted the final meeting of a state criminal justice policy commission today, part of a growing chorus of voices expressing concern that state leaders are preparing to put forward legislation that won’t include major changes to sentencing laws. The protest came as advocates and lawmakers(...)

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Ortiz stepping down early

Ortiz stepping down early

Controversial US Attorney resigning before Trump takes over

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE U.S. ATTORNEY Carmen Ortiz, the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as the top federal prosecutor in the district of Massachusetts, will leave her post in three weeks, clearing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to name a new U.S. attorney. Ortiz, in a press release on Wednesday, announced that(...)

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O’Brien conviction overturned; DeLeo cleared

O’Brien conviction overturned; DeLeo cleared

Ruling says prosecutors were off-base in bringing federal charges in probation scandal

A US APPEALS COURT overturned the convictions of former state probation commissioner John O’Brien and two top aides, saying prosecutors failed to prove key elements of their case and should not have been allowed to apply federal criminal statutes to violations of Massachusetts laws. “We can conclude that O’Brien, along with the other defendants and(...)

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Bishops press Beacon Hill for criminal justice reform   

Bishops press Beacon Hill for criminal justice reform  

Catholic leaders urge end to mandatory minimum drug sentences, other changes

THE STATE’S FOUR Catholic bishops are adding their voices to those calling for the Legislature to take up a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill when lawmakers reconvene for a new session next month. In a letter sent last week to state leaders, the bishops urged adoption of “comprehensive thoughtful reforms” that can “reduce recidivism and(...)

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Activists fear criminal justice reform will be limited to probation, parole

Activists fear criminal justice reform will be limited to probation, parole

Worried legislation from Beacon Hill leaders will not address all aspects of the system.

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ENDING MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR drug offenses will be a top priority next year for criminal justice reform advocates, who said they are worried legislation from Beacon Hill leaders will not address all aspects of the system. The Jobs Not Jails coalition rallied Tuesday at a Bowdoin Street church, where SEIU Local(...)

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Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report

Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report

Court charges seen as barrier to offenders getting on track

MONTHLY FEES CHARGED to those on probation in Massachusetts disproportionately hit poorer communities, a costly obstacle to rehabilitation for those least able to afford it, according to a new study. About 67,000 people are on probation in the state and are charged a monthly fee of $50 or $65 depending on the level of court(...)

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