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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 read more
Massachusetts voters are ready to embrace major reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. A new MassINC poll shows most support reforms to both the front and back ends of the system to reduce repeat offending and refocus the system on prevention and rehabilitation. Voters perceive the current system as counterproductive; prisons are seen as read more

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 read more
Topic(s): Criminal Justice

The Geography of Incarceration

A Special Report from the Boston Indicators Project in Partnership with MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

This paper explores the geography of incarceration in Boston, providing timely information as state leaders engage in an unprecedented effort to find strategies to operate our criminal justice system in a more cost-effective manner, and redirect the savings toward models that decrease crime and strengthen neighborhoods. The first phase of this federally-funded endeavor, which is read more
Topic(s): Criminal Justice

Justice Reinvestment At-A-Glance

Community Corrections

This Justice Reinvestment At-a-Glance report examines community corrections. Community corrections is an enhanced form of probation. Instead of incarceration, individuals are sentenced to intensive services and supervision in the community. The data presented here show that—among individuals in Massachusetts convicted for offenses where community corrections may be appropriate—very few receive this alternative to incarceration.   read more
Topic(s): Criminal Justice
Data are increasingly the lifeblood of an effective criminal justice system. Modern technology allows agencies to collect and exchange high-quality, actionable information. These data help frontline workers make informed decisions that reduce risk. And they provide managers and policymakers with vital information for the optimal allocation of resources. The fifth installment in our Justice Reinvestment Policy read more
Solutions to better treat and manage substance abuse are paramount to an effective Justice Reinvestment strategy. Too many residents suffering from substance use disorder continue to enter the criminal justice system, which struggles to help these individuals recover from a life-threatening disease. For many offenders, un- or undertreated substance abuse aggravates anti-social behavior and lengthens read more
More than two-thirds of defendants sentenced to state and county prisons in Massachusetts have had prior incarcerations, according to new analysis presented in this policy brief. Comprehensive change is necessary to reduce this elevated level of repeat offending and improve public safety. The third installment in a series exploring various components of reform, this paper read more

Viewing Justice Reinvestment Through a Developmental Lens

New approaches to reducing young adult recidivism in Massachusetts

Residents ages 18 to 24 are the most likely demographic to find their way into Massachusetts prisons and the quickest to return to them upon release. Innovative models to serve justice-involved young adults have enormous potential to reduce recidivism. These new approaches are also central to increasing public safety in high-crime neighborhoods, where young adults read more
Many states involved in Justice Reinvestment—a data-driven approach to reduce incarceration and increase public safety—have taken aim at the practice of holding defendants on cash bail. These efforts are backed by research that shows many defendants held in jail awaiting trial do not pose a serious risk. Keeping low-risk defendants out of jail allows states read more

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