Recent Stories

State leaders unveil bill aimed at cutting recidivism

State leaders unveil bill aimed at cutting recidivism

Officials divided on further changes, Gants urges repeal of most mandatory minimums

STATE LEADERS UNVEILED long-awaited legislation Tuesday aimed at reducing recidivism rates in the criminal justice system. But whether the bill tackles the most pressing issue facing the system or simply marks a good first step in what should be a more sweeping reform process depends on which leader is speaking. That divide is likely to(...)

Read More »

DA Conley pushes back against Gants

DA Conley pushes back against Gants

Defends mandatory minimums, questions chief justice’s aggressive politics

SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAN CONLEY on Tuesday pushed back against efforts by Chief Justice Ralph Gants and members of the Senate to do away with mandatory minimum sentences and give more discretion in handing out punishment to judges. In remarks during and after a panel discussion at a daylong conference on criminal justice reform(...)

Read More »

The long-running soap opera of Roxbury Community College

There was a time that missteps by administrators at Roxbury Community College were met with sighs and snickers over the continual stream of malfeasance at the two-year state school. But the recurrence of questions over administration and finances continues to roil what was planned to be a crown jewel for the beleaguered community and will once(...)

Read More »

Brownsberger: Criminal justice reform top priority

Brownsberger: Criminal justice reform top priority

To reduce crime, reduce incarceration rates

MY ONGOING TOP PRIORITY as Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee is criminal justice reform. The criminal justice system is filled with committed professionals – police, prosecutors, judges, and probation, parole and correctional officers. Most of the laws that govern the system made sense when they were enacted and are still individually defensible. Yet, taken(...)

Read More »

Boston emerging as mobility innovation center

Boston emerging as mobility innovation center

Silicon Valley and Detroit aren’t the only hotspots

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that mobility – the movement of people and goods – is an incredibly hot space. Start-ups are cropping up across the entire value chain as significant capital is deployed by incumbent strategic investors, mobility-specific funds like Fontinalis and BMW iVentures, as well as general tech funds looking to get in on the action.(...)

Read More »

Ira Stepanian will always be ‘Big Ira’

Ira Stepanian will always be ‘Big Ira’

BankBoston president practiced capitalism with a conscience

WHEN IRA STEPANIAN, then president of BankBoston, asked me to join him as executive vice president for external affairs, I told him that I didn’t know much about banking. “That’s OK,” he said. “I don’t know much about external affairs or community relations or how to communicate with employees and regulators and the press. We’ll(...)

Read More »

Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Votes add to push for more sweeping criminal justice reform

IN ANOTHER SIGN of support for broad criminal justice reform, the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission voted to recommend abolition of mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes except murder. The move comes as state leaders are split on the best way to revamp criminal justice policies. At a Jan. 18 meeting of the sentencing commission, members voted(...)

Read More »

Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Three suggestions for linking Boston and rest of state

EVAN HOROWITZ AND JAMES PINDELL of the Boston Globe remarked in a November 14 article that “the Trump effect” occurred in Massachusetts as well: while Greater Boston voted more Democratic in 2016 than 2012, outside of I-495 trended more Republican—often significantly. A map accompanying the story depicted a growing divide between Greater Boston and the(...)

Read More »

Opioid deaths continued to climb in 2016

Opioid deaths continued to climb in 2016

State report projects increase by as much as 24% over 2015

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE DYING from opioid overdoses in Massachusetts each year continues to climb, according to a new state report projecting an estimated increase of between 13 and 24 percent from 2015 to 2016. A total of 1,465 people died of unintentional opioid overdoses in 2016, with another 469 to(...)

Read More »