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Giving thanks to a pragmatic and hardworking legislature

On what a collection of leaders in Massachusetts was able to accomplish this fall

Leaders in both the House and Senate deserve praise for passing comprehensive criminal justice reform bills this fall. The legislature’s accomplishments are a positive departure from how criminal justice policymaking has unfolded in the past; for far too long, Massachusetts made criminal justice law by anecdote, often in response to a single sensational crime. As documented in a series of

What is Justice Reinvestment without the “reinvestment”?

The MassCJRC Journal

The comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation up for debate this week in the Senate is a noteworthy achievement in every respect but one–its failure to take on the delicate subject of reinvestment. Criminal justice reform is largely about offering alternatives to incarceration and providing evidence-based programs to reduce recidivism for those returning from incarceration. These activities

Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Incarceration approach is hollowing out the middle class

FOR ALL THE TALK about inequality these days, it’s rare to see policy proposals that could actually make a difference. Politicians of all persuasions rail against the disappearing middle class, and then do very little to find common ground on viable solutions to the problem. The criminal justice reform legislation introduced in the Senate last week is an

Gateway City leadership on criminal justice reform

The Gateway Cities Journal

Watching Gateway City leaders over the years, I’ve come to admire their work ethic. Whether it’s putting together complex redevelopment projects, fighting for school improvement, or closing holes in municipal budgets, they have a penchant for stepping up and solving difficult problems. As our latest research report shows, corrections reform is yet another issue calling

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system

THE SENATE IS poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants. The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that sometimes

Refusing to Remain #StuckOnReplay

The MassCJRC Journal

On July 13th, the community came together to deliver a clear message: Massachusetts can no longer delay; we need comprehensive criminal justice reform. The gathering, entitled The Fierce Urgency Of Now, Or Else #StuckOnReplay, drew hundreds of individuals, advocates, and community leaders to Dudley Square to share stories and issue a passionate call for change. The program

Criminal justice reform bill: Four questions for the Legislature

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

This article was originally published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Volume 46, Issue No. 25 on June 19th, 2017. By  Max D. SternPartner, Todd & Weld LLP, Co-Chair, The Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and Michael B. Keating, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP Why are repeat offenders responsible for three-quarters of all new convictions in Massachusetts? Because when

Steve Koczela offers testimony to Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary

On the results of polls and focus groups conducted by MPG

My name is Steve Koczela, and I am the president of The MassINC Polling Group. I am here today to testify on the results of polls and focus groups we have conducted on criminal justice reform, spanning 2014 to April and May of this year. The polls and focus groups were sponsored by our parent

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

Joint Committee on the Judiciary to hold second hearing

Several bills on criminal justice reform will be heard

Monday, June 19 at 1:00pm, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will again hold a hearing at which dozens of bills concerning criminal justice reform will be heard. Earlier this year, Governor Baker filed a bill, An Act Implementing the Joint Recommendations of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review (H.74). This bill primarily addresses “back-end” reforms, or reforms

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