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January 22, 2019

MA Criminal Justice Reform in 2019

In April of last year, Governor Baker signed a sweeping and historic criminal justice reform bill (S.2371) designed to reduce incarceration and improve public safety. This year, many of the reforms outlined in the bill are taking effect. Highlighted below are several key elements of the bill:

  • Decriminalization of minor offenses
  • Diverting minor offense away from prosecution/incarceration
  • Reforming Bail to reduce unnecessary incarceration
  • Repealing/limiting mandatory minimums for non-opiate, non-weight retail drug offenses
  • Reducing solitary confinement
  • Generally improving prison conditions
  • Releasing prisoners who are permanently incapacitated and pose no safety risk (medical parole)
  • Improving transparency of the criminal justice system
  • Better protecting women in the criminal justice system
  • Reducing and remedying errors of justice

Although Massachusetts is already among states with the lowest rates of incarceration, this bill affirms Massachusetts’ commitment to ensuring a more just criminal justice system for all. To stay up-to-date with criminal justice reform in Massachusetts, please see MA Criminal Justice Reform Caucus’ Twitter.

If you are seeking legal advice or need representation regarding a criminal case, or any case, you can call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625, connect with an area online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today.