Massachusetts

During the summer of 2015, Massachusetts state leaders expressed a desire to explore a “justice reinvestment” approach to reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies that can reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center was asked to provide intensive technical assistance to help collect and analyze data and develop appropriate policy options for the state.

State leaders established the CSG Justice Center-Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review, a project led by a bipartisan, interbranch steering committee and working group to support the justice reinvestment initiative. The five-member steering committee is composed of Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chief Justice Ralph Gants, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The 25-member working group includes designees from all three branches of government and state and local criminal justice stakeholders. The steering committee and working group will work with the CSG Justice Center and provide leadership and guidance throughout this project.

The steering committee has established that the initial scope of the project will include investigating the drivers of incarceration, identifying recidivism trends across the system, and assessing the effectiveness of community supervision. Based on the findings from intensive quantitative and qualitative analyses of these areas, the steering committee and working group will develop policy options for the legislature’s consideration in 2017.

Publications

Justice Reinvestment in Massachusetts: Sixth Presentation

Justice Reinvestment in Massachusetts: Sixth Presentation

The sixth working group presentation details additional analyses on race, including existing data considerations and limitations and key areas of interest that were identified during the justice reinvestment project.

Justice Reinvestment in Massachusetts: Fifth Presentation

Justice Reinvestment in Massachusetts: Fifth Presentation

The fifth working group presentation is an analysis of probation and parole supervision that focuses on supervision’s alignment with risk, need, responsivity best practices, including how risk of recidivism is managed, how probationer and parolee needs are assessed and addressed, and what sanctions and incentives exist to respond to behavior of probationers and parolees.

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