Criminal justice reform

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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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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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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Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Incarceration approach is hollowing out the middle class

FOR ALL THE TALK about inequality these days, it’s rare to see policy proposals that could actually make a difference. Politicians of all persuasions rail against the disappearing middle class, and then do very little to find common ground on viable solutions to the problem. The criminal justice reform legislation introduced in the Senate last(...)

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Baker and mandatory minimums

Gov. Charlie Baker has won praise for his efforts to increase awareness of opioid addiction and treatment options, but he continues to face criticism for his proposal to deal with the crisis by enacting new criminal penalties on those who deal drugs. The governor on Tuesday is promoting his latest educational initiative, encouraging the state’s(...)

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The Codcast: Brownsberger tees up criminal justice reform bill

The tough-on-crime era of the 1980s and 90s has given way to what some are calling the smart-on-crime era, a time in which policymakers and politicians are rethinking what it takes to keep communities safe while also giving criminal offenders the best shot of getting on a more positive path after paying their debt. That(...)

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Middlesex DA Ryan supports repeal of some mandatory minimum drug sentences

Here is the statement released by Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan on October 5, 2017, on the Senate criminal justice reform legislation: “As a prosecutor for more than thirty years I am a firm believer in progressive, thoughtful legislative reform. Our criminal laws should not be solely punitive, but also serve to rehabilitate while(...)

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