An oversight board committed to improving criminal justice data and transparency

The MassCJRC Journal

Data and transparency are critical to securing the improvements in public safety that comprehensive criminal justice reform promises. If we want reform to take hold, we must be vigilant about making progress in these two areas. Over the past few months, there have been some unsettling signs. In July, strong provisions empowering an independent commission

Half an ocean away

The MassCJRC Journal

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was racing east across the Southern ocean two weeks ahead of his nearest competitor when the winds inexplicably turned to face him head-on for 12 consecutive days. It was 1968; he’d been at sea on his own for five months, attempting to win the first solo around the world race. Facing these

Putting our money where our mouth is

The MassCJRC Journal

With the passage of the FY 2019 state budget last week, leaders in the House and Senate once again signaled their commitment to comprehensive criminal justice reform. The sweeping package passed by the Legislature in April with overwhelming bipartisan support will only payoff if we invest in it. In the first state budget post-reform, lawmakers

Finding Better Ways to Allocate Limited Public Safety Resources

The MassCJRC Journal

Massachusetts’s criminal justice reform legislation is arguably the most wide-ranging and comprehensive in the country, at least as far as progress in a single legislative session goes. However, unlike most states that have pursued comprehensive reform, our legislation was largely crafted without independent technical assistance from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). One of the key

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

Patriots make a big play on criminal justice reform

The MassCJRC Journal

While the final score of Super Bowl LII left us with heartbreak, the team made one play last week that may give us an even more significant victory. In a Boston Globe op-ed that ran Sunday morning, team leadership took a clear stance on criminal justice reform, writing: “We strongly support the proposal being considered by the Massachusetts

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

Looking to Colorado for a True Model of Justice Reinvestment

The MassCJRC Journal

Colorado’s novel approach to justice reinvestment offered new perspective for leaders gathered for a MassINC forum at the State House last week. The event featured Christie Donner, Executive Director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, who joined via Skype to detail the process of creating a fund that moves savings produced by parole reforms

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

Fighting for a More Just and Equitable Commonwealth

The MassCJRC Journal

June 2017 will be remembered as an important milestone for criminal justice reform in Massachusetts. After numerous commissions, taskforces, research reports, and independent analyses, legislators are looking at a bevy of seriously substantive criminal justice reform proposals. Those engaged in the long fight for comprehensive criminal justice reform should pause for a moment to reflect

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