BOSTON-Yesterday the Massachusetts Senate passed by a vote of 27-10 a comprehensive criminal justice reform package that updates decades old criminal sentencing laws to improve outcomes of our criminal justice system. Among the provisions included in the bill are repealing ineffective mandatory minimum sentences for low level drug offenders, reducing and eliminating over burdensome fees and fines, reforming the bail system, allowing for compassionate release for infirmed inmates, and reforms to the juvenile justice system.
“Yesterday I was proud to join my Senate colleagues in voting to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform, especially much needed reforms to our pretrial bail system,” said Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington). “Ability to pay bail should never be used as criteria to determine someone’s freedom. These reforms move our bail system away from a cash-based system to one that gives judges the necessary tools and guidelines to make informed decisions regarding pretrial release while honoring the purpose of bail – to assure someone shows up in court and does not pose a danger to the community.”