Drug Sentencing Opponents Say Poll Shows Public Agrees With Them

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A majority of Massachusetts voters want to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and an even larger percentage supports shifting resources from jails to drug addiction treatment programs, according to a poll commissioned by an advocacy group. Commissioned by Families Against Mandatory Minimums and conducted by the Suffolk University Political

Ben Forman Testifies On Criminal Justice Reform

Testimony Given Before the 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

Kicking off the Justice Reinvestment Policy Brief Series

The MassCJRC Journal

MassINC and the Criminal Justice Reform Coalition are excited to announce the launch of the Justice Reinvestment Policy Brief Series. Over the coming months, this new research initiative will succinctly examine Justice Reinvestment in Massachusetts with the release of several policy primers exploring critical criminal justice issues. As many of you will have already seen, we

Crime, Cost & Consequences

A Two Year Progress Report

In 2013, MassINC issued Crime, Cost, and Consequences, a comprehensive look at the performance of the state’s criminal justice system. At the Second Annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Summit, we issued this update. These new figures show steady progress in some areas, while other problems identified in the 2013 report continue to present stubborn challenges.

New research finds wide racial and ethnic variation in cash bail in Massachusetts


  A new study by the nonpartisan think tank MassINC shows large racial and ethnic disparities in the composition of defendants awaiting trial in jail. In Barnstable County, black defendants are overrepresented in the jail population relative to their share of the county’s general population by a factor of 10 to one. Out west in

State House hearing on mandatory minimums

Tuesday’s State House hearing on mandatory minimums showed signs of the beginning of a robust dialogue at the state legislative level on comprehensive criminal justice reform. Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, echoing remarks he gave at the CJRC’s annual event in March, opened the hearing in staunch opposition to mandatory minimum sentencing. The model disproportionately

Eliminating mandatory minimums

The view from the community

As the debate on repealing mandatory minimums unfolds, a key question is how do residents in communities most impacted by crime feel about a change in course? To gain this perspective, MassINC’s2014 poll included a sample of 10 communities representing half of all releases from state prisons. Residents in these high-release areas were more likely

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