7th Annual Policy Summit in Pursuit of Justice

Presented by MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

7th Annual Policy Summit in Pursuit of Justice

MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition present: The 7th Annual Policy Summit in Pursuit of Justice.

This year, the policy summit will explore efforts to advance comprehensive criminal justice reform in the name of equity. Over the course of two sessions, we will take a hard look at how to invest in dramatically different approaches to criminal justice with a shared sense of urgency and purpose.

 

Session One: Rooting Out Racial Bias
Friday, February 5, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

Earlier this year, the Harvard Law School released a study of disparities in sentencing, confirming what many already knew: that significant racial and ethnic bias is still present in our criminal justice system. The report also highlighted critical data quality issues that inhibited research efforts to pinpoint and confront problem areas.

During this session, a panelist of experts will revisit the topic of criminal justice information systems, charting progress on the data provisions signed into law in 2018, and comparing the commonwealth’s efforts to increase transparency and data collection to those ongoing in other states.

The Coalition will also present a new award in memory of the late Chief Justice Gants, who commissioned the Harvard Law study, and championed efforts to achieve equity in the criminal justice system.

Welcome and Award Presentation:
Greg Torres, MassINC Board Chair

Keynote:
District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County

Moderator:
Shira Schoenberg, Reporter, CommonWealth

Panelists:
Kerry Collins, Undersecretary for Forensic Science and Technology, EOPSS
Representative Liz Miranda, 5th Suffolk District
Felix Owusu, Kennedy School of Government, Co-Author, Harvard Law Racial Disparities Study
Dr. Mikaela Rabinowitz, Director of Data, Research, and Analytics at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office; formerly the Director of National Engagement and Field Operations for Measures for Justice

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Session Two: Refunding Corrections
Thursday, February 11, 2021 
| 10:00 a.m.

Scrutiny of the effectiveness of public safety expenditures within the criminal justice system – from incarceration to reentry programs – is increasing, prompting calls for reassessment. A new approach and reallocation of resources could help heal the deep scars left by tough-on-crime era criminal justice policies on communities of color, and create better outcomes for people currently and formerly incarcerated.

During this session, we will hear firsthand accounts from correctional officers who see the need for dramatic change, as well as those advocating from the outside for radically different policy approaches to correctional spending.

The Coalition will also recognize the leadership of John Larivee, a founding member of the coalition, who has retired after 46 years with Community resources for Justice.

Welcome and Award Presentation:
Greg Torres, MassINC Board Chair

Research Presentation:
Ben Forman, Research Director, MassINC

Moderator:
Sarah Betancourt, Reporter, CommonWealth

Panelists:
Brian Dawe, CEO, American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network
Senator Adam Gomez, Hampden District
Yolanda Smith, Chief of Staff/Superintendent, Suffolk County House of Corrections

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