Criminal justice reform

Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

Drawing a line in the sand

The sweeping criminal justice bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed earlier this month received widespread, but not universal, praise as a welcome turn away from the tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and ‘90s. One notable dissenting voice was that of Setti Warren, the former Newton mayor who is now one of three Democrats vying to(...)

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The Codcast: Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

The sweeping criminal justice bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed earlier this month received widespread, but not universal, praise as a welcome turn away from the tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and ‘90s. One notable dissenting voice was that of Setti Warren, the former Newton mayor who is now one of three Democrats vying to(...)

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Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,(...)

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State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

Polling suggests voters largely agree with broader approach

The Senate and House sent a sweeping criminal justice reform bill to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk this week. The Governor has not said how he will proceed. Details matter, and there are a lot of them to parse, but the overall thrust of the bill is very much in keeping with what voters have said(...)

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Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH ONLY A WHIFF of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism. The legislation (S 2371), which(...)

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With criminal justice bill passed, what about services for ex-inmates?

With criminal justice bill passed, what about services for ex-inmates?

While state leaders talked about reducing recidivism, reentry programs to do that were being cut

LAWMAKERS PASSED A long-awaited, comprehensive criminal justice reform bill on Wednesday. But to fully realize its widely touted goal of reducing recidivism they will need to back some of the statutory changes and reform rhetoric with tangible resources. That was the message at a Boston City Council hearing on inmate reentry convened on Tuesday night(...)

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Compromise criminal justice bill unveiled

Compromise criminal justice bill unveiled

Backers say measure will reduce recidivism, prison population

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A HANDFUL OF MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES for drug offenses would be repealed and the state’s approach to juvenile offenders overhauled in a sweeping criminal justice bill released Friday by House and Senate lawmakers. The completion of the compromise bill marks the end to months of private negotiations in the Legislature over(...)

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DAs need to be held accountable

DAs need to be held accountable

ACLU campaign seeks to inform voters about power of district attorneys

WHO ARE THE MOST POWERFUL people in the criminal justice system? A lot of people quickly say, judges. The real answer: district attorneys. Look no further than the timely case study currently unfolding in the Commonwealth’s highest court. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to hear a case involving the fallout from(...)

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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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