MA Criminal Justice Improved by Grace Pirez
The near passage of the Criminal Justice Reform bill in Massachusetts marks a major shift towards a progressive penitentiary system. With an impressive 27-10 vote in favor of the bill, Massachusetts is taking the necessary steps for a brighter future. The repeal of mandatory sentences for minor drug
offenses helps avoid dealing out unnecessary charges towards mothers and fathers of poorer communities. Oftentimes, the issue with drug-related sentences arises when law enforcement target lower class communities– communities primarily comprised of minorities. Throughout history, we have seen the frequent division of families due to the jail time sentences for possession and distribution of illegal substances. Though these are nonviolent crimes, the implicated individual faces strong charges and their families are forced to fill their role in their absence.
Raising the age minimum for the adult court trials is another modification that helps the disadvantaged youths of Massachusetts. Instead of focusing on the pipeline to prison mentality, young people can instead be appropriately tried in a court that views them as they are, not as adult criminals. The effect on their mindset may not be evident now, but overtime there will be a noticeable difference.
The other reforms, such as the release of weak and elderly inmates, can help reduce the costs of maintaining penitentiaries, and reduce the percentage of the population that are incarcerated.