Criminal Justice

A new social contract on public safety

A new social contract on public safety

Criminal justice reform can strike the right balance

THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE recently passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill. It aims to improve public safety while reducing the size and cost of the prison system. More importantly, the bill is an opportunity for a new social contract related to public safety. In 2014, I started a program in Pittsfield working with youth at(...)

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Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers should reverse course on Republican amendment to criminal justice bill

IMMIGRATION REFORM isn’t part of the criminal justice reform bill House members will begin debating today, but Republican lawmakers want it to be. Maybe they’re right and it should be — but the Legislature should instead move in the opposite direction of the harmful plan that Republican amendments are proposing. Last week, Siham Byah, a(...)

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A Rikers view of criminal justice reform

A Rikers view of criminal justice reform

Race, economics, and politics played key roles in incarceration policies

I LEFT MY HOMETOWN of Boston three years ago to find myself inside Rikers Island. What I witnessed inside that most infamous jail complex would become my education on the system of incarceration and the staining effects it has on people caught between crime and justice. In 2014, I was appointed a deputy commissioner at(...)

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House pushes narrower criminal justice legislation

House pushes narrower criminal justice legislation

Ex-SJC chief Ireland hails 'reform bill for real world'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE plans to consider substantial changes to the way justice is delivered, with a powerful committee polling members Monday on legislation to repeal certain mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, grant people additional opportunities to clear their records, and crack down on chronic drunk drivers. The House plans to(...)

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Brockton candidate already a winner

Brockton candidate already a winner

Longshot mayoral challenger overcame a hard start in life

WITH MAYORAL RACES in the gun lap around the state, most eyes are on what’s happening in Boston and then maybe on Lawrence and Framingham or Newton. But little attention has been paid to the race in Brockton, where incumbent Mayor Bill Carpenter is challenged by 26-year-old Jimmy Pereira, one of the more unlikely and(...)

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House criminal justice bill seen taking up broad reform

House criminal justice bill seen taking up broad reform

Rushing says bill likely to tackle many areas of the system

A KEY HOUSE LEADER signaled that his chamber is likely to respond to a sweeping Senate criminal justice bill with legislation that tackles many of the issues in the Senate measure that reform advocates have been pushing. Advocates for criminal justice reform have been pressing House officials to follow the Senate’s lead, and Assistant House(...)

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Baker balks at parts of Senate criminal justice bill

Baker balks at parts of Senate criminal justice bill

Provisions 'seem to not make a heck of a lot of sense'

STATE HOUSE NEWS MAJOR PROVISIONS of the criminal justice bill passed late last week by the Senate “just seem to not make a heck of a lot of sense,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday, panning the bill for easing sentences for some drug dealers and neglecting other aspects of the justice system. The Senate passed(...)

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Criminal justice bill can be game changer for young adults

Criminal justice bill can be game changer for young adults

We can reduce recidivism and costs while improving public safety

THE COMMONWEALTH’S criminal justice reform efforts offer a unique opportunity to achieve a triple impact: improve public safety, reduce public spending on crime prevention, and redefine futures for our highest-risk young adults. In Massachusetts, young adults ages 18-24 represent the largest percentage of individuals incarcerated. They also represent the highest rates of recidivism: 51 percent(...)

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Top Baker aide offers sex offender fixes

Top Baker aide offers sex offender fixes

Public safety chief says board did not 'lose' 1,769 offenders

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO A CRITICAL AUDIT, the state’s top public safety official on Tuesday outlined changes that could be made at the agency tasked with monitoring sex offenders, including the fingerprinting of Level 1 offenders. Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett testified at an oversight hearing called after a state(...)

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Anti-violence funds jeopardized by House-Senate flap

Anti-violence funds jeopardized by House-Senate flap

Senate balks at funding program in supplemental budget

THE SENATE IS taking the lead on Beacon Hill on criminal justice reform, but the chamber seems to have lost its way on a key initiative to help gang members go straight and stay out of prison. The Senate and House both passed budget measures last week intended to close the books on spending for(...)

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