News & blog

And the winner is…

Congratulations to the Five District Partnership, the first of four 2015 Gateway Cities Innovation Award winners that we’ll be announcing over the coming weeks! For the first time, we’re preparing case studies that provide an in depth look at the four innovative initiatives that we’re recognizing with Gateway City Innovation Awards in November. Each of these profiles describes

This week’s Gateway Cities Leader

Monisola Gbadebo

Copy of Getting to Know Gateway City Leaders (1)
How do you engage with the Holyoke community through your role with Enchanted Circle Theater? I’m invested in youth development and breaking down the barriers to an exposure to the fine arts. Enchanted Circle supports the core curriculum in local schools to bolster engagement, appeal to different learning styles, and make the learning more memorable.

A fresh Look at new Gateway City housing-education partnerships

Since 2009, the number of homeless students in Massachusetts has nearly doubled. As the crisis has grown, a lot of attention has been placed on the number of homeless families living in motels for relatively long stays at a high cost to the state. Gateway Cities were home to nearly half of the 1,700 families

Press coverage

  • The trouble with bail — and some alternatives

    Bail has a very clear purpose in the criminal justice system. It’s a refundable deposit, designed to ensure that people who are charged with a crime show up for their day in court. That’s all.

    Yet bail can have some pretty perverse side effects, especially for the poor. If paying money is a precondition for getting out of jail, then those without money will often get stuck.

    And across the country, local jails are full of people who have not been convicted of any crime; they’re locked up simply because they can’t cover their bail.

    Massachusetts is hardly immune. When the research organization MassINC looked at statewide trends, it found that even though arrests have been decreasing across the state, more and more people are getting caught in pretrial detention — held in jail until their trials, not least because they can’t afford bail.

    Read more…

  • Innocent Until Proven Guilty

    Last week, public policy think tank Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, also known as MassINC, released a study that highlights the racial and ethnic disparities in Massachusetts’ jail population. The study found that black defendants awaiting trial are greatly overrepresented in some areas of the state, attributable, in part, to far higher average bail amounts. This speaks to a larger trend of racial disparity in incarceration in Massachusetts. Though the state has one of the lowest overall incarceration rates in the country, the numbers for black residents are closer to the national average and relatively high for Latinos.

    The study and its results stand as an indictment of the way the criminal justice system works in Massachusetts and across the nation, where too many people, and especially people of color are funneled into a broken prison system. Luckily, the Commonwealth has a readily available way to improve its problem:Legislation currently before the House would introduce risk assessment tools to promote a fairer pretrial process.

    Read more…

  • Study: Large Number of Minorities Detained While Awaiting Trial

    A think tank says a disproportionate number of racial minorities are in jail as they await trial and those granted bail face amounts up to four times higher than white defendants in some Massachusetts counties.

    Those counties include Barnstable, in which MassINC found that black residents make up 2.4 percent of the county’s population but represent 25 percent of the county’s pretrial detainees.

    Read more…

  • Minorities more likely to be ordered held awaiting trial, study says

    A disproportionate number of racial minorities are in jail as they await trial, and those who are granted bail face amounts up to four times higher than white defendants in some Massachusetts counties, according to a study on pretrial detention.

    The report released Tuesday by MassINC, an independent Boston think tank, looked at pretrial detention in 10 counties and found the most striking disparities in Barnstable, Franklin, Berkshire, and Norfolk.

    Read more…

  • Report Urges Reforms To Address Racial Disparities In Mass. Pretrial Detainees

    Counties across Massachusetts have large racial disparities in the composition of defendants who are awaiting trial in jail, a report finds.

    In Barnstable County, on Cape Cod, African-American residents make up just 2.4 percent of the population, but nearly 25 percent of all pretrial detainees, according to the policy brief by the think tank MassINC, which has advocated for criminal justice reforms in Massachusetts, including the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.

    Read more…

Why support massinc?

  • Reason #5

    We stick with it.

    Our work on transformative development, which uses public and private funding for projects to revitalize an entire downtown or urban neighbor­hood, began as Policy Center research report in 2013. A year later, the state legislature passed a bill funding transformative development projects across Massachusetts.

Coming up

Explore research reports


  • MassINC's long-term dedication to Gateway Cities makes them a valuable resource to all of our communities. They are a true thought partner. They go the distance to help others appreciate our unique opportunities, needs, and perspectives.

    Tim McGourthy Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

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