BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – State lawmakers are considering significant criminal justice reforms next year.
A 25-member working group met in Boston to study the Massachusetts criminal justice system. They’re trying to determine whether changes need to be made to prevent people from repeating the same crimes. The working group is expected to release final recommendations that could inspire new legislation.
Dozens of people held a silent protest during the meeting, holding signs that read; “End Mass Incarceration.” Community groups are worried that upcoming legislation will focus on the “back end” of the criminal justice system like parole and probation.
The “Jobs Not Jails” Coalition said their number one priority next year is to repeal mandatory minimum sentences on drug convictions.
The Council for State Governments Justice System said Wednesday people of color have higher rates of recidivism. Katie Mosehauer of the CSC Justice Department told 22News, “For individuals leaving the Department of Corrections, the black population was re-involved in the criminal justice system at a higher rate than other populations.”
We could see criminal justice legislation as early as January. 22News will continue to follow this story.