The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute works to unlock the economic potential of small to mid-size regional cities.

Leveraging MassINC’s research, polling, and policy team, the Institute strengthens connections across communities and helps Gateway City leaders develop and advance a shared policy agenda.

Research Reports

News & blog

Those who tell the stories, rule the world

“Those who tell the stories rule, the world” goes the proverb. Gateway City leaders know firsthand that there’s still a lot of truth in this old wisdom. Too often, the performance and potential of Gateway Cities are defined by those on the outside who have little understanding of the struggle. When we make policy based

Ben Forman Testifies On Criminal Justice Reform

Testimony Given Before the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission

MassINC Research Director Ben FormanTestifies before Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
MassINC Research Director Ben Forman testifies on Criminal Justice Reform before the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission at the State House. What follows below is a copy of his written testimony. Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Chair Lu and members of the Commission, I thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning on behalf of MassINC and the

Preparing the next generation of civic leaders…

Gateway Cities Journal

Congratulations to the Latino Education Institute and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce for their work preparing Worcester’s next generation of civic leaders! We’re excited to recognize these accomplishments with a 2015 Gateway Cities Innovation Award.  The Latino Education Institute is a center at Worcester State University that provides high-quality summer and afterschool programs with a heavy emphasis

Press coverage

  • Mayor Faces ‘Rite of Passage’: A Campaign Seeking His Exit

    LAWRENCE, Mass. — Daniel Rivera, a first-term mayor who promised to change the pockmarked political landscape of this underdog mill city, has not been charged with a crime or accused of graft.

  • 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…

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      Former Public Administrator; President Emeritus, South Cove Manor at Quincy Point


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