Criminal Justice

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(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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Senators outline broad criminal justice reform agenda

Senators outline broad criminal justice reform agenda

Lawmakers look to broaden scope beyond pending report

SAYING THE TIME is right for the state to take a look at sweeping criminal justice reforms, a group of Democratic state senators is urging the Legislature to take up bills addressing everything from mandatory minimum drug sentences to fines and fees that lawmakers say are unfairly leading some people to spend time behind bars(...)

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Making addiction treatment work for inmates

Making addiction treatment work for inmates

Comprehensive approach needed for those in criminal justice system

AS A PHYSICIAN, who treats and supports individuals battling substance abuse, I try to be available when the call for help comes, especially from those involved with the criminal justice system. The call for help from John, a former inmate who has struggled with addiction and cycled in and out of prison, arrived via text from an unrecognized number. He(...)

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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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