Criminal Justice

In Suffolk DA’s race, calls to coalesce

In Suffolk DA’s race, calls to coalesce

Groups urge blacks, progressives not to split their vote

WHAT HAD BEEN a strong undercurrent in the Suffolk County district attorney’s race is now becoming an open topic of conversation – and consternation: The fact that candidates with similar profiles in the five-way Democratic primary could split the vote and hand the election to a candidate who wins far less than majority support. That’s(...)

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US Attorney carries Trump’s message on immigrants

US Attorney carries Trump’s message on immigrants

Press releases increasingly highlight defendants’ nationalities

WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP took office 19 months ago, the US Attorney’s office in Massachusetts started issuing more and more press releases about cases where the defendants were identified by their nationality, a move designed to draw attention to the administration’s claim that illegal immigrants pose a danger to society. “One of the things we wanted(...)

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New law lets juveniles off in Lynn

New law lets juveniles off in Lynn

High school vandals under 12 face no charges

The state’s new criminal justice law, signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in April, is already having an impact. Four juveniles, one who was 13 and the others younger than 12, allegedly broke into Lynn English High School over the weekend and caused significant damage. Only the 13-year-old was arrested and charged because of a provision(...)

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New law lets juveniles off in Lynn

The state’s new criminal justice law, signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in April, is already having an impact. Four juveniles, one who was 13 and the others younger than 12, allegedly broke into Lynn English High School over the weekend and caused significant damage. Only the 13-year-old was arrested and charged because of a provision(...)

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Course corrections

Course corrections

Dogs, drumming, and beads: Is this really jail?

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MEGHAN MOORE THE HAMPDEN COUNTY SHERIFF’S Pre-release Center in Ludlow looks pretty much like what you’d expect of a minimum security jail—clean but stark. Then, Zadie and Misty, two energetic young hounds bound down the hallway to greet the visitors, ears flapping, tails wagging. As they fill the otherwise institutional space with infectious(...)

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Study Valor Act before changing it

Study Valor Act before changing it

Sensationalizing outlier cases provides distorted picture of law

MASSACHUSETTS IS ON the brink of abandoning one of the most innovative criminal justice initiatives for veterans in the nation. In 2012, after a significant amount of research and debate, the Valor Act became law. Section 16 of the act established an alternative legal pathway for veterans charged with crimes that could reasonably be connected(...)

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Baker says feds reviewing son’s groping charge

Baker says feds reviewing son’s groping charge

Governor 'expects' A.J. Baker will cooperate in probe

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE is reviewing allegations that Gov. Charlie Baker’s son A.J. groped a woman on a plane last week, and state authorities are not involved, the governor said Monday morning. Speaking briefly to reporters in his office lobby, Baker did not discuss details of the allegations, which he said(...)

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Patriots star power fuels DA debate

Patriots star power fuels DA debate

McCourty twins, Slater question Suffolk candidates

COME FOR THE chance to meet New England Patriots stars, stay for the conversation on important criminal justice issues. That was the game plan for a forum Tuesday night in Dorchester that featured three Patriots standouts posing questions to candidates for Suffolk County attorney, and it went mostly according to script. About 200 people showed(...)

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Finding Better Ways to Allocate Limited Public Safety Resources

Finding Better Ways to Allocate Limited Public Safety Resources

Estimating the costs and savings attached to criminal justice reform legislation

Massachusetts’s criminal justice reform legislation is arguably the most wide-ranging and comprehensive in the country, at least as far as progress in a single legislative session goes. However, unlike most states that have pursued comprehensive reform, our legislation was largely crafted without independent technical assistance from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). One of the key(...)

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