State senators and the ACLU held their first Commonwealth Conversation on Feb. 28. in Canton. Thanks to Peter Panov of Needham for this report.
The Commonwealth Conversations South Shore Town Hall on Tuesday, February 28th showed widespread interest in justice and corrections systems reform. This Town Hall was for Senators Keenan, O’Connor, Ross, Rush, and Timilty’s districts, however half of the Senate’s 40 members were present.
They explained these meetings represent a portion of setting the Senate’s agenda for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Among several of the frequently repeated themes such as the Safe Communities Act and the planned Weymouth gas compressor station was justice and corrections system reform in the Commonwealth.
Six of the 54 statements (by about 50 citizens attending the meeting) addressed Criminal Justice reform, from: ending mass incarceration in general and mandatory sentencing; to mandatory minimums, solitary confinement, and reducing recidivism; to unnecessary imprisonment, rehabilitation, and the example of a traffic fine becoming a license suspension becoming imprisonment.
From the ACLU Freedom Agenda (which includes “Smart Justice” — shifting from incarceration to rehabilitation) reflecting the speaker’s values; to 60% of our jailed being held pre-trial & 70 percent of those held because they can’t afford bail; to raising the felony larceny threshold, with the remark that Texas’s felony larceny at $2500 required to constitute a felony versus a misdemeanor, is TEN times ours, but Texans are not ten times better!
This is a clear message that moving Massachusetts away from mass incarceration is a priority for many Commonweawlth citizens, who are passionate about some several solutions we need to the many aspects of the problem.
More ACLU/Senator meetings are scheduled in March and April: March 7 in the Southeast; March 14 in Central; March 21 in Northeast; March 28 in Western; April 4 in Metrowest; and April 11 in Northshore.
The Netherlands is running out of incarcerated people by treating them like individual human beings. From the BBC News and The Marshall Project.
By Lucy Ash BBC News, Veenhuizen 10 November 2016 Magazine While the UK and much of the world struggles with overcrowded prisons, the Netherlands has the opposite problem. It is actually short of people to lock up. In the past few years 19 prisons have closed down and more are slated for closure next year. How has this happened and why do some people think it’s a problem? N
The smell of fried onions wafts up the metal staircase, past the cell doors and along the wing. Down in the kitchen inmates are preparing their evening meal. One man, gripping a long serrated blade, is expertly chopping vegetables. “I’ve had six years to practice so I am getting better!” he says.
It is noisy work because the knife is on a long steel chain attached to the worktop. “They can’t take that knife with them,” says Jan Roelof van der Spoel, deputy governor of Norgerhaven, a highsecurity prison in the northeast of the Netherlands. “But they can borrow small kitchen knives if they hand in their passes so we know exactly who has what.”
Some of these men are inside for violent offences and the thought of them walking around with knives might seem alarming. But learning to cook is just one of the ways the prison helps offenders to get back on track after their release.
“In the Dutch service we look at the individual,” says Van der Spoel. “If somebody has a drug problem we treat their addiction, if they are aggressive we provide anger management, if they have got money problems we give them debt counselling. So we try to remove whatever it was that caused the crime. The inmate himself or herself must be willing to change but our method has been very effective. Over the last 10 years, our work has improved more and more.”
He adds that some persistent offenders known in the trade as “revolving door criminals” are eventually given two year sentences and tailormade rehabilitation programmes. Fewer than 10% then return to prison after their release.
In England and Wales, and in the United States, roughly half of those serving short sentences reoffend within two years, and the figure is often higher for young adults. Norgerhaven, along with Esserheem another almost identical prison in the same village, Veenhuizen have plenty of open space. Exercise yards the size of four football pitches feature oak trees, picnic tables and volleyball nets.
Van der Spoel says the fresh air reduces stress levels for both inmates and staff. Detainees are allowed to walk unaccompanied to the library, to the clinic or to the canteen and this autonomy helps them to adapt to normal life after their sentence. A decade ago the Netherlands had one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe, but it now claims one of the lowest 57 people per 100,000 of the population, compared with 148 in England and Wales.
But better rehabilitation is not the only reason for the sharp decline in the Dutch prison population from 14,468 in 2005 to 8,245 last year a drop of 43%. The peak in 2005 was partly due to improved screening at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, which resulted in an explosion in the numbers of drug mules caught carrying cocaine.
Today the police have new priorities, according to Pauline Schuyt, a criminal law professor from the southern city of Leiden. “They have shifted their focus away from drugs and now concentrate on fighting human trafficking and terrorism,” she says. In addition, Dutch judges often use alternatives to prison such as community service orders, fines and electronic tagging of offenders. Angeline van Dijk, director of the prison service in the Netherlands, says jail is increasingly used for those who are too dangerous to release, or for vulnerable offenders who need the help available inside. “Sometimes it is better for people to stay in their jobs, stay with their families and do the punishment in another way,” she says from her brightly lit office at the top of a tower block in The Hague.
“We have shorter prison sentences and a decreasing crime rate here in the Netherlands so that is leading to empty cells.” But while recorded crime has shrunk by 25% over the past eight years, some argue that this results from the closure of police stations, as a result of budget cuts, which makes crime harder to report.
Find out more
Listen to Lucy Ash’s report Prisons for rent in the Netherlands for Assignment on the BBC World Service Click here for transmission times, or to listen online Other critics, such as Madeleine Van Toorenburg a former prison governor and now the opposition Christian Democratic Appeal party’s spokeswoman on criminal justice blame the shortage of prisoners on low detection rates.
“The police are overwhelmed and can’t handle their work load,” she says. “And what is the government’s response? Closing prisons. We find that surprising.” What is clear is that many of Angeline van Dijk’s staff are not happy about the lack of people to lock up. Frans Carbo, the prison guards’ representative from the FNV union, says his members are “angry and a little bit depressed”.
Young people don’t want to join the prison service he adds “because there is no future in it any more you never know when your prison will be closed”. One empty prison was turned into a fancy hotel south of Amsterdam, its four most expensive suites named the The Lawyer, The Judge, The Governor and The Jailer. But others, converted into asylum reception centres, have provided work for some former prison guards. The desire to protect prison service jobs has sparked another surprising solution the import of foreign inmates from Norway and Belgium.
“At one point our state secretary met the Norwegian minister of justice and said I have some cells to spare you can rent one of our prisons,” says Jan Roelof van der Spoel. So last September Norway began sending some of its convicts south to serve their sentences at Van der Spoel’s prison, Norgerhaven. The governor of the prison is now a Norwegian, Karl Hillesland, but the prison guards keeping an eye on the 234 men locked up here are Dutch.
A mildmannered former bookseller with a bushy moustache, Hillesland strikes me as an unlikely jailer. His green uniform with epaulettes looks extremely formal, and is nothing like the relaxed clothing of his Dutch colleague, but in fact Norway has a more liberal prison regime than the Netherlands, he says. Norwegian inmates are allowed, for example, to give media interviews and watch DVDs of their choice because the underlying principle is one of “normalisation”, meaning that life in prison should replicate life on the outside as closely as possible to help exoffenders reintegrate into society.
“There are some differences in the way we do things,” says Van der Spoel. “We discipline a prisoner for breaking the rules straight away whereas the Norwegians do an investigation and wait a while before imposing the punishment. For our guards that style of working was a bit tough to begin with.” “But on the whole”, says Hillesland, “we share the same basic values about how to run a prison.” He adds that a few prisoners were forced to come here from Norway but most volunteered, partly because groceries and tobacco are cheaper in Holland.
A recently installed Skype room is another big attraction at Norgerhaven. Relatives who want to visit have to pay their own travel costs, and a round trip costs at least 500 euros with an overnight in a hotel. But many of the longterm prisoners are foreign nationals who very rarely saw their families anyway when they were behind bars in Norway. Michael’s immaculately tidy cell is decorated with pictures of his football team and his four small children. A welder from northern Poland he was convicted in Norway but didn’t have access to Skype in prison there.
“My wife is busy looking after four kids and trying to hold down a job and anyway she doesn’t have the money to come and see me”, he says. “So I opted for this prison so I could see my family and not just hear their voices on the phone.” He stares at the floor for a moment or two. “After the Skype call it’s very hard especially at Christmas and Easter but it is better than nothing.” As I leave through security doors and clanging gates I wonder what will happen to Norgerhaven once the Norwegians have gone in a few years’ time. The guards know that one of the Veenhuizen jails Norgerhaven or Esserheem will be listed for closure next year.
But could the numbers of prisoners in the Netherlands ever rise again? A walk through the village is a reminder that, in the distant past, the Netherlands locked up large numbers of citizens. It’s located in the remote, sparsely populated Drenthe province a land of peat bog, fens and heather known as the “Dutch Siberia”, and a place where beggars, tramps, penniless orphans and other “undesirables” were exiled from the cities in the 19th Century.
An army general founded a reform colony in Veenhuizen, which he believed could eradicate poverty. Over time the institution morphed into a penal colony which was closed to outsiders until the 1980s. According to a demographer, one million of Holland’s 17m citizens alive today are descendants of people exiled to Veenhuizen. “That’s a huge chunk of the population,” says Amsterdambased author Suzanna Jansen, whose grandfather was sent there for begging. “And being raised in poverty, in a difficult environment is something that could happen to any one of us, so I think we should remember that when we think about those behind bars today.”
More from the Magazine Two Norwegian institutions vie for the title of the world’s “nicest” or “most humane” prison. Inmates on the prison island of Bastoey, south of Oslo, are free to walk around in a villagestyle setting, tending to farm animals. They ski, cook, play tennis, play cards. They have their own beach, and even run the ferry taking people to and from the island. And in the afternoon when most prison staff go home, only a handful of guards are left to watch the 115 prisoners.
BARRY CHIN/GLOBE STAFF Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court says a review of socalled finetime practices is underway. Scores of indebted become ‘finetime’ inmates. Posted from The Boston Globe.
By Milton J. Valencia GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 07, 2016
They call it “finetime” — a questionable practice in which defendants “pay off” court fines and fees by serving time behind bars, even if they never committed a crime deserving of jail time in the first place.
A sampling of cases in Massachusetts from last year showed more than 100 instances in which defendants were sent to jail because they could not afford to pay a fine, a practice first laid bare in the federal investigation into the criminal justice system in Ferguson, Mo., two years ago, sparking outcries of discrimination in that state. The 105 examples were cited in a report to be filed this week by the state Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. Among them:
■ A defendant charged with driving under the influence of alcohol was ordered to serve 25 days in jail for failing to pay $760 in fines and fees. “Do I have any say on this? Like, any defense?” the defendant asked.
■ In Leominster District Court, a defendant who owed $175 two years after a shoplifting offense was sent to jail, even though he told the judge he intended to pay the money within a month.
■ A third case was described to the Globe directly by the defendant, identified as James K. He told state officials he was looking to get his driver’s license, so that he could apply for a job, after serving prison time for a robbery in New York City when he was a teenager, he said. However, he had outstanding fines for a drug arrest years earlier in Dudley District Court.
When he returned to Dudley last year looking to address the fines, he said he was told he owed more than $1,000. He said he could not pay, that he had stayed in a homeless shelter the night before. He was sent to jail for 36 days.
“I was in disbelief, saying ‘You’re going to lock me up because I can’t pay a fine?’ ” said James K, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his privacy during job searches.
“It’s counterintuitive,” he said. “I was sent to jail because I was poor.” The 105 examples are from Worcester, Plymouth, and Essex counties. It’s unclear how many other cases may have also occurred in other counties.
The review found that most of the 105 defendants who were sent to jail had initially arrived at the court for a relatively minor offense: 40 percent of the cases related to automobile violations that did not involve allegations of operating under the influence. In 16 percent of the cases, the original charge was for public disorder, such as disorderly conduct, public drinking, or trespassing.
None of the 105 defendants went to trial on the original offense, and in 60 percent of the cases the charges were continued without a finding or disposed of with pretrial probation. In 40 instances, the defendant was guilty of at least one charge, but only four ended up serving jail time at the original disposition of the case.
Ultimately, the sentences ranged from one day to 112 days. In nearly half of the cases, the defendant was ordered to serve at least two weeks.
The state expects more than $40 million in fees and fines each year, half of it related to probation fees, according to the Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. Senator Michael Barrett, a Democrat from Lexington and chairman of the Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, said the review raised troubling questions about the state’s dependence on revenue from the poor, through the imposition of fees and fines — with stiff enforcement designed to make people pay up.
“We do this in the name of punishment, but it turns out to be a nifty business in terms of revenue generation, and we’ve grown too fond of what it pulls in,” said Barrett, an attorney by trade. “It’s a moneymaking sideline, run by the criminal justice system. The money comes out of the hides of not only poor offenders who have to get their lives back on track, but also the families of poor offenders. . . . We need to descale the hunt for revenue to sustain the court system.”
The review comes as top court officials have recently acknowledged the need for the courts “to provide equal justice for those who face financial challenges.” Ralph Gants, chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, said in his annual State of the Courts address last month that “We are examining whether we are unwittingly punishing poverty by the imposition of fines, fees, and restitution that a defendant has no ability to pay, and taking steps to ensure that the inability to pay does not result in the revocation of probation, the inappropriate extension of a period of probation, or time in jail.”
Barrett said the review of cases and state laws shows it may take a combination of new court policies and legislative fixes to address the issue. ‘We are examining whether we are unwittingly punishing poverty by the imposition of fines,fees, and restitution . . . ’
State law, for instance, allows for a defendant to pay off fees by serving jail time, at a rate of $30 a day. Barrett’s committee called for increasing the rate to $60, so that a defendant can pay off his dues quicker if jail becomes an option.
The review also found that judges failed to appoint lawyers for defendants — who had already been declared indigent — when considering whether to send them to jail for failure to pay fines, a potential violation of their constitutional right to counsel. Barrett’s committee called on the Supreme Judicial Court to uphold a defendant’s right to an attorney in such cases, saying the court has not yet addressed the issue directly.
At the least, Barrett said, the courts should set policy requiring judges to appoint lawyers and to better inquire into whether a defendant is being in contempt of the court, or truly cannot pay. He also said the courts should consider alternatives to sentencing someone to jail.
“I’m not suggesting all fees go away. I think there’s a place for fines and fees in the fullness of things,” Barrett said. “Some people can feel the sting, and still pay it, but for some people this is more than a sting. It means you can’t pay rent for the month. That’s what we’re finding in these cases.”
Cassandra Bensahih, executive director of the Worcesterbased advocacy group ExPrisoners and Prisoners Organized for Community Advancement, said the report shows the cycle of hardships that many lowincome people face, in which they can’t get a job because of past encounters with the criminal justice system, and so they can’t pay their fines.
“When they can’t find employment, can’t find jobs, what are they to do?” she said. Milton J. Valencia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.
The Judiciary Committee is now evaluating bills to reform the Commonwealth’s judicial and correctional systems. YOU CAN INFLUENCE this process in several ways.
1. Pledge to attend the June 9 hearing, 1 pm at the Gardner Auditorium of the Statehouse to show support for reform. Sign up here or show up at 12:45 pm at the Statehouse.
2. Print out multiple copies of this action letter. Invite others to sign individual letters. Mail them to EMIT, C/o Susan Tordella, 5 Hedgeway St. Ayer, MA 01432. EMIT will deliver them in person to the Judiciary Committee members. Or deliver the letters in person to Judiciary Committee members.
3.Call or email members of the Judiciary Committee and encourage other voters to do the same, to encourage legislators to support criminal justice reform, especially the bills in the action letter
Here are the Judiciary Committee members, positions and contact information.
The legislators with NONE beside their names really need to hear that we support reform.
Key (bills Sponsored -SP or Co-sponsored):
MM: End Mandatory Minimums
PT: Pre-Trial and Bail Reform
Just: Justice Reinvestment Act
Care: Caretaker Act
RJ: Restorative Justice
Extra: Extraordinary Medical Release
William Brownsberger, D-Belmont – Chair 617-722-1280 William.email@example.com
MM, Just, Exp, RJ,
Sen. John Keenen, D-Quincy – Vice Chair NONE 617-722-1494 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonia Chang Diaz, D-Boston 617-722-1673 email@example.com
PT, MM, Just -SP
Patricia Jehlen, D-Somerville 617-722-1578 firstname.lastname@example.org
PT, MM, Care-SP, Exp, RJ, Extra -SP
Cynthia Creem, D-Newton 617-722-1639 email@example.com
MM- SP, Just
Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham NONE 617-722-1555 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Fernandes, D-Milford- Chair NONE 617-722-2396 email@example.com
Claire Cronin, D-Easton – Vice Chair 617-722-2396 firstname.lastname@example.org
PT, MM, Just, RJ Extra
Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut NONE 617-722-2380 email@example.com
Rep. John Velis, D-Westfield NONE 617-722-2582 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Day, D-Winchester 617-722-2582 email@example.com
Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem NONE 617-722-2400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. James Lyons, R-Andover NONE 617-722-2450 email@example.com
Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin 617-722-2020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Trial, MM, RJ
Evandro Carvalho, D-Dorchester 617-722-2460 email@example.com
Carlos Gonzalez, D-Springfield 617-722-2080 firstname.lastname@example.org
PT, MM, Just, Care
Sheila Harrington, R-Groton 617-722-2305 email@example.com
BY ROY WENZL THE WICHITA EAGLE
12/27/2014 5:12 PM 12/29/2014 9:49 AM
Of all the contentious history between Koch Industries and the U.S. government, the Corpus Christi, Texas, case from 1995 is the one that Charles Koch remembers most vividly.
A federal grand jury indicted his company on 97 felonies involving alleged environmental crimes at an oil refinery.
Prosecutors dropped all but one of the charges six years later, after the company spent tens of millions of dollars defending itself.
Ultimately, Koch Petroleum Group agreed to pay a $10 million settlement.
“It was a really, really torturous experience,” said Mark Holden, Koch’s chief counsel. “We learned first-hand what happens when anyone gets into the criminal justice system.”
Holden said Charles Koch wondered afterward “how the little guy who doesn’t have Koch’s resources deals with prosecutions like that.”
No one at Koch wants to re-litigate the Corpus Christi case, Holden said. But it prompted Charles Koch to study the justice system – both federal and state – wondering whether it has been over-criminalized with too many laws and too many prosecutions of nonviolent offenders, not only for him but for everybody.
His conclusion: Yes, it has.
Ten years ago, he began giving money to support efforts by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse what some see as a national trend to get tough on crime, which has resulted in the tripling of the incarceration rate since the 1980s and has stripped the poor of their rights to a legal defense.
He’s going to give more to that effort, he said.
“Over the next year, we are going to be pushing the issues key to this, which need a lot of work in this country,” Koch said. “And that would be freedom of speech, cronyism and how that relates to opportunities for the disadvantaged.”
The nation’s criminal justice system needs reform, “especially for the disadvantaged,” Koch said, “making it fair and making (criminal) sentences more appropriate to the crime that has been committed.”
Holden said legislators in recent decades drifted into a habit of adding more laws every year and taking stands to show themselves as “getting tough on crime.” It has gone too far, Holden said.
The weight has fallen most heavily on minorities, Holden said.
It has festered in neighborhoods and fostered the anger of people protesting against police actions in Missouri and New York. And, Holden said, “It definitely appears to have a racial angle, intended or not.”
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that one in three black men will spend time in prison.
Among the concerns, Holden said, of federal and state governments are:
▪ Too many nonviolent offenders have been sent to prison for too long. The United States incarcerates 2.2 million people. Another 65 million – one in four adults – now have criminal records, according to the defense lawyers association.
“We have more of America now in prison than they ever did (in South Africa) in apartheid,” Holden said. “Let that swirl around in your head for a while.”
▪ The economy has been damaged by making it difficult for offenders to get jobs once they are out of prison. The social stigma and routine background checks, according to the association, “has made it all but impossible for a person with a criminal record to leave the past behind.”
▪ Millions of former offenders have been denied voting and other rights long after they have paid their debt to society.
▪ The Sixth Amendment right to an attorney has been impaired by allowing public defender offices to be underfunded and overwhelmed, including by government prosecutors with more far more resources at their disposal.
The Corpus Christi case led Charles Koch and his company to give money, starting about 10 years ago, to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The company and the association would not say how much Koch has given, but the amount totals in the seven figures, Holden said.
Campaigning against overcriminalization has prompted Koch to form unofficial alliances with people and organizations that usually champion liberal causes, including political activist George Soros and the American Civil Liberties Union, who are also campaigning for a reduction in prison populations.
Kansas has 9,600 inmates in eight adult prisons, according to the 2014 annual report from the Kansas Department of Corrections, which has an annual budget of $306 million.
The cost per inmate is $25,000 per year.
“That’s more than what it costs to send a kid to college for a year,” said David Gilkey, a Wichita youth mentor.
The prison population is projected to rise by 740 more inmates by 2024, which would add another $18.5 million per year to the state cost, according to state estimates.
Nobody wants to let violent criminals out of prison, Holden said. Of the 9,600 inmates in Kansas, 4,836 were convicted of committing violent crimes, and another 2,129 were sent there for sex offenses.
But there are also 1,736 inmates serving drug sentences and another 567 serving sentences for nonviolent property crimes.
Wasting human resources
Gilkey and Norman Reimer say much the same things about overcriminalization of the justice system and their support of Koch’s plans to reform it. Few men could be as different in background.
Reimer, an attorney, directs the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Washington, D.C.
Gilkey is a former Wichita crack addict and an ex-convict who spent nearly four years in Kansas prisons. But in the nine years since his release, Gilkey has become a respected Wichita mentor to young people.
He runs “Rise Up for Youth,” a United Way-supported group; he goes regularly into the tough parts of town, speaks to gang members and goes into local schools at the request of educators to plead with youngsters to study, stay away from drugs and stay out of crime.
Reimer said the “tough on crime” stance has created “too many laws, too many flaws in the criminal justice process and far too much work for beleaguered public defenders assigned to represent poor people in courts.”
“There are never adequate resources now to ensure that the poor can have access to a lawyer,” he said.
It may surprise some Koch critics that Koch took an interest in criminal justice; it’s not a surprise to Reimer.
“We share a reverence for the Bill of Rights,” he said.
Putting 2 million people in prison was a mistake, he said.
“We are not a nation of bad people. We are a nation that made some bad choices,” he said.
“We’ve become addicted to severe sentences, to the point where we are mass-producing convictions in many courts, while not providing defense counsel on a timely basis.
“We’ve got to fix that, and there is now a growing consensus among people knowledgeable about justice and economics that we are wasting precious human resources in criminal justice.”
Gilkey said he’s seen hundreds of examples showing Reimer and Koch are right. He grew up and committed crimes in Wichita’s poorest neighborhoods, then began to work with youths there and visit prisons where people from Wichita are incarcerated.
He’s no liberal on many social or justice issues. He tells boys to treat police officers with respect.
He wishes he could legally obtain a gun because of some of the tough neighborhoods he walks into to mentor youths.
He says marijuana should never be legalized, because as a drug addict, he learned first-hand that pot is “the gateway drug to all the other drugs.”
But he said we have devised a “crazy” and costly system where we spend tens of millions in Kansas to incarcerate people and train them so well in prison that many of them earn tech school certificates to become plumbers or electricians or other trade workers.
“When they get out, they can’t get jobs,” Gilkey said. “They have to check that box on the job application that says, ‘Have you ever been convicted?’ No one hires them then.”
Gilkey, like millions of other convicted felons, lost the right to vote and to apply for a concealed-handgun permit.
“Most employers won’t hire me if they learn I’m a convicted felon,” he said. “Most apartment complexes won’t rent to me if I tried. My wife and I rent a house only because someone decided to trust us.”
He believes nonviolent offenders should not face prison time. It would save millions, he said. It would put people to work paying taxes instead of getting fed for years at taxpayer expense.
Holden, Koch’s counsel and a friend of Gilkey’s, said laws allow many crimes to be expunged from someone’s record. But that’s a tricky legal process, and many poor people don’t have the money to hire lawyers, he said.
It makes no sense to give a life sentence like that to nonviolent offenders after they’ve served time, Holden said.
“If you have a nonviolent felony and you get out of prison, we as a country can’t forgive and forget?” he asked
Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @roywenzl.
Here is a synopsis of Mass. gubernatorial candidates position on criminal justice reform. Source: the highly regarded Mass INC, an advocate for the middle class. The “no stated positions” say quite a bit between the lines. Make sure and vote on Sept. 9 or file an absentee ballot.
Below you will find a review of the policy positions for each candidate running for governor and attorney general in November. This review focused on the main areas of recommendations for reform identified in a 2013 report from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition – sentencing reform, programming & treatment, reentry & supervision, and uniform data collection & evaluation.