Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security.

Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.

As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks.

Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.

ARTICLES By Ben Forman

The Geography of Incarceration in a Gateway City

The Cost and Consequences of High Incarceration Rate Neighborhoods in Worcester

In 2016, MassINC and the Boston Indicators Project issued a report detailing the geography of incarceration in Boston. Utilizing new data provided by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, this report extends that line of research by examining incarceration in a Gateway City. The analysis explores the cost and consequences of high incarceration rates in Worcester

Ben Forman offers testimony to Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary

In support of "An Act Implementing the Joint Recommendations of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review"

TESTIMONY REGARDING H. 74 “AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL JUSTICE REVIEW” PROVIDED TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY JUNE 19, 2017 Benjamin Forman MassINC Thank you Chairwoman Cronin, Chairman Brownsberger, and members of the committee for the opportunity to provide testimony on An Act Implementing the Joint Recommendations of

Fact-checking the district attorneys

MassINC researchers review mandatory minimum claims

AT MONDAY’S JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING on criminal justice reform legislation, District Attorneys Joseph Early of Worcester County, Timothy Cruz of Plymouth County, and Michael Morrissey of Norfolk County testified in opposition to the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. Their testimony drew heavily on talking points prepared by the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association

Ben Forman testifies before Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary

In support of “An Act For Justice Reinvestment”

Testimony Regarding H.2308/S.791  “An Act For Justice Reinvestment” Provided to the Joint Committee on The Judiciary  June 5, 2017 Benjamin Forman MassINC Thank you Chairman Brownsberger and Chairwoman Cronin for this opportunity to provide testimony in support of An Act for Justice Reinvestment on behalf of MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. There

Mandatory minimum drug sentences costly mistake

DA talking points obscure real issues

SUPPORTERS OF MANDATORY minimum sentences for drug crimes are circulating a set of disconnected talking points on Beacon Hill that obscure the real issues. The debate is heating up as the Legislature prepares to hold hearings this month on bills that would eliminate Massachusetts laws requiring judges to impose a prison term of a specified

Looking for a Transformative Transit-Oriented Development paradigm

View the Boston skyline from afar and you can pick out transit stops from the cranes poking out above active construction sites. TOD is occurring all over the city. This development has been fueled by relatively strong regional population and employment growth, high-frequency transit service, and perhaps most importantly, consumers with a preference for walkable

Haverhill Education Coalition working to promote excellence

New organization shows the promise of local accountability initiatives

The Haverhill Education Coalition is the latest example of grassroots leadership emerging in a Gateway City to support public education. Founded in February to help promote and advance high-quality education in Haverhill, the coalition seeks to “increase parent and citizen engagement in the public schools, increase transparency of school data and information, promote higher standards

Bending the business as usual growth curve

Leveraging existing transit assets

Massachusetts is projected to add more than a half million new residents over the next two decades. Where these new residents settle will have important consequences for quality of life, the environment, economic growth, and access to opportunity. How we grow will also have critical implications for the fiscal health of state and local governments.

Getting Tough on Spending

An Examination of Correctional Expenditure in Massachusetts

In 2013, a diverse cross-section of leaders stepped forward to form the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Led by Wayne Budd, Kevin Burke and Max Stern, members were drawn to the coalition by a shared understanding that the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system was riddled with counterproductive policies. They joined hands united in the belief that

Ben Forman testifies before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue

In support of “An Act Relative to Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives” (H. 1640)

Below is MassINC Research Director Ben Forman’s testimony in support of regional ballot initiatives to fund transportation projects in Massachusetts. Ben testified before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue on April 10, 2017. Joint Committee on Revenue In support of “An Act Relative to Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives” (H. 1640) Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

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