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Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,

CommonWealth’s Spring 2018 issue is out!

Read the rundown

  Here’s a rundown of what’s in our spring print issue, which is in the mail and available online. You may have heard something about infighting in Fall River between wunderkind Mayor Jasiel Correia and the city’s political establishment. Now get a sense of what’s really going on. Ted Siefer portrays a mayor who isn’t

State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

The Topline

The Senate and House sent a sweeping criminal justice reform bill to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk this week. The Governor has not said how he will proceed. Details matter, and there are a lot of them to parse, but the overall thrust of the bill is very much in keeping with what voters have said

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH ONLY A WHIFF of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism. The legislation (S 2371), which

Reflecting Back on the Criminal Justice Data Revolution

The MassCJRC Journal

Reflecting Back on the Criminal Justice Data Revolution A footnote to the story will be that Florida received far more attention at the time for passing a very similar measure that same month, but it was Massachusetts that put its brains to work and created the model, going from a state where district attorneys had

Democracy is breaking out all over Massachusetts

The Topline

2018 was supposed to be the year of blockbuster match-ups in Massachusetts. The de facto leaders of both parties are running for reelection, offering the prospect of bruising contests for both Senate and the Governor’s office. Instead, the two main event races are blowouts so far, while a bevy of interesting and important elections are

DA candidates seek to capitalize on public desire for new approach to criminal justice

The Topline

Criminal justice reform legislation has yet to emerge from conference committee on Beacon Hill, but many of the ideas the legislature debated in writing their bills are now making their way into District Attorney races across the state. Polling we’ve conducted shows these ideas are popular among large swaths of the public, setting up potentially interesting contests of ideas

Traffic ahead?

The present and future of transportation in Massachusetts

This morning The MassINC Polling Group released its latest polling on voter opinions on transportation in Massachusetts at an event hosted by Transportation for Massachusetts. The research was made possible by The Barr Foundation. The event couldn’t have been more timely. During the presentation, news broke that Massachusetts had dropped from first to eight in

TransitMatters pushes ‘regional rail’

Would transform commuter rail into subway-like system

TRANSITMATTERS, a nonprofit known for delving into the nitty gritty of very specific transportation issues, went in a different direction on Tuesday, releasing a sweeping report calling for a multi-billion-dollar overhaul of the state’s commuter rail system over the course of a decade or more. Dubbed regional rail, the ambitious proposal calls for transforming a rail network

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