Criminal Justice Reform: What Happened?

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed its own criminal justice reform bill. What happens now? In short, negotiations. The Senate and House versions have some substantive differences that need to be negotiated and agreed upon in a conference committee. That process will likely run into next year. So what we know now is limited. We can expect some very positive developments at the end of the process: expanded expungement for some criminal  records, repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for some drug crimes, and the reform of the use of solitary confinement or segregation. These are all data-driven "smart on crime" reforms that are likely to benefit society as a whole, not just offenders. The bottom line is that you want people to learn from their mistakes and become productive members of society. Those people are back with their families, paying taxes and taxpayers are not paying to unnecessarily house them.