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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.
News & blog
- Oct 9, 2015
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.
- Oct 6, 2015
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.
- Oct 6, 2015
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.
- Sep 30, 2015
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.
- Sep 29, 2015
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.
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- Oct 7, 2015Join us on October 14th at 6:00 PM for a discussion of recent research on young adults from MassINC and the Executive Session on Community Corrections (2013-2016), including the inaugural report from a brand-new series ‘New Thinking in Community Corrections’ which focuses on the latest science and thinking, written by Executive Session members Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western, and Kendra Bradner. Overview The
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- MassINC's work with the Gateway Cities is unmatched. As Eastern Bank strives to help businesses in these communities thrive, MassINC has been a tremendous partner, providing data-driven research and affirming that these cities are full of opportunities.
Bob Rivers Eastern Bank President and COO