Criminal justice reform

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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Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system

THE SENATE IS poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants. The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that(...)

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House, Senate poised to go separate ways on criminal justice bills

House, Senate poised to go separate ways on criminal justice bills

Branches would need to reach agreement afterwards to move reforms forward

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE HOUSE AND SENATE appear poised to go their separate ways on the major issue of criminal justice reform, perhaps meeting in the middle at some point in the future after what one senator predicted will be a “fairly lengthy evolutionary process.” The Judiciary Committee on Thursday opened voting on two(...)

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Healey outlines criminal justice vision

Healey outlines criminal justice vision

Backs what Baker proposed, but wants to take more holistic approach

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY sent a letter to two key lawmakers this week outlining her vision for criminal justice reform, including an overhaul of bail and sentencing practices that could serve as a guidepost for a debate that’s expected to heat up this fall. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate(...)

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ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

Poll shows many voters don’t believe criminal justice system is working fairly

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of Massachusetts says it plans to mount a campaign this fall urging voters to hold the state’s elected district attorneys accountable for the way the criminal justice system works. The impetus for the campaign grew out of a poll released Wednesday indicating that nearly half of Massachusetts voters believe the(...)

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Senate retreat to hear from criminal justice experts

Senate retreat to hear from criminal justice experts

Speakers will address ‘key facts and issues’

LEADERS OF THE SENATE, including President Stan Rosenberg and William Brownsberger, the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, have made clear their support for a range of criminal justice reforms that go beyond those in legislation that resulted from a recent review of state policy focused on recidivism. On Wednesday, senators will(...)

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The high toll of inmate phone calls

The high toll of inmate phone calls

Advocates say charges keep prisoners isolated, undermine criminal justice reforms

IT’S EASY TO take ordinary conveniences like making a telephone call for granted. Advances in technology have made communication cheaper and higher quality than ever before. But one group has been excluded from enjoying the benefits of the falling cost of this modern amenity: inmates. For years, inmates and their families across the nation have(...)

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