Criminal justice reform

Mass. voters strongly back criminal justice reform

Mass. voters strongly back criminal justice reform

Residents favor preventive measures over incarceration, says new poll

MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS STRONGLY support reform of the state’s criminal justice system, including elimination of mandatory minimum sentences and a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and education programs than incarceration, according to a new poll. Two-thirds of residents said prevention programs for youth and job training and education for inmates should be higher priorities in addressing crime(...)

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Legislators call for broader criminal justice reform

Legislators call for broader criminal justice reform

State needs to seize the opportunity for change, say lawmakers

LAWMAKERS GATHERED OUTSIDE the House chamber Tuesday to declare their commitment to wide-ranging criminal justice reforms, further evidence of a push on Beacon Hill for changes that go beyond a consensus bill rolled out by Gov. Charlie Baker in February. “We are all here united today because we believe that this session is an opportunity(...)

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Gants v Conley: Time for a real debate?

The Boston Globe delivered an editorial spanking to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley over the weekend for questioning the political activity of Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants. Gants has been leading the charge for doing away with mandatory minimum sentencing in most cases, an issue that the Globe editorial page is also(...)

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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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Is criminal justice reform misfiring?

This is the era of criminal justice reform. States across the country are reexamining criminal justice policies with an eye toward addressing the ignoble distinction the US holds of claiming astronomical incarceration rates far out of line with those in other developed countries. We even make repressive regimes like Russia and Cuba look like softies(...)

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Activists interrupt criminal justice meeting

Activists interrupt criminal justice meeting

Advocates worried reform bill won’t address sentencing issues

CHANTING “JOBS NOT JAIL,” advocates for criminal justice reform briefly disrupted the final meeting of a state criminal justice policy commission today, part of a growing chorus of voices expressing concern that state leaders are preparing to put forward legislation that won’t include major changes to sentencing laws. The protest came as advocates and lawmakers(...)

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Bishops press Beacon Hill for criminal justice reform   

Bishops press Beacon Hill for criminal justice reform  

Catholic leaders urge end to mandatory minimum drug sentences, other changes

THE STATE’S FOUR Catholic bishops are adding their voices to those calling for the Legislature to take up a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill when lawmakers reconvene for a new session next month. In a letter sent last week to state leaders, the bishops urged adoption of “comprehensive thoughtful reforms” that can “reduce recidivism and(...)

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Activists fear criminal justice reform will be limited to probation, parole

Activists fear criminal justice reform will be limited to probation, parole

Worried legislation from Beacon Hill leaders will not address all aspects of the system.

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ENDING MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR drug offenses will be a top priority next year for criminal justice reform advocates, who said they are worried legislation from Beacon Hill leaders will not address all aspects of the system. The Jobs Not Jails coalition rallied Tuesday at a Bowdoin Street church, where SEIU Local(...)

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Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report

Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report

Court charges seen as barrier to offenders getting on track

MONTHLY FEES CHARGED to those on probation in Massachusetts disproportionately hit poorer communities, a costly obstacle to rehabilitation for those least able to afford it, according to a new study. About 67,000 people are on probation in the state and are charged a monthly fee of $50 or $65 depending on the level of court(...)

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Mapping incarceration in Boston

Mapping incarceration in Boston

Study finds minority neighborhoods burdened by high jail rates

LARGE SWATHS OF mostly minority Boston neighborhoods are so heavily affected by the criminal justice system that nearly every street has a resident who has spent time in jail, a concentration of incarceration that is costing millions of dollars and threatening the social fabric of neighborhoods already struggling with high rates of poverty and other(...)

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