MBA co-sponsors summit on criminal justice reform

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
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Photo Credit: Mike Vigneux
Gov. Deval L. Patrick reports on the successful progress of criminal justice reform in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Bar Association served as a co-sponsor of a summit on "Reform, Re-Entry and Results: Promoting Progress in the Criminal Justice System" on Dec. 18 at UMass Boston.

After introductory remarks by Andrea J. Cabral, secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), Greg Torres, president of MassINC and publisher of CommonWealth Magazine, introduced keynote speaker Gov. Deval L. Patrick. In his introduction of the governor, Torres quoted from an October Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly column written by MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy about the legacy of Patrick's judicial appointments.

Patrick then spoke about the progress that has been made in the criminal justice system during his eight-year tenure in office, including reducing violent crimes, reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes, reforming the parole board, strengthening habitual offender laws, lowering the rate of recidivism and enhancing support for victims of crime. He especially thanked members of the criminal justice community "who have made a personal choice not to discard your neighbors, but instead to think about how we reintegrate what we know to be the overwhelming number of people who will get out one day and who we all need to succeed."

The summit also included panel discussions on "Using Data to Support and Sustain Criminal Justice Reform" and "Taking the Entry Out of Re-entry." The panels were moderated by Christine Cole, executive director, Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice, and Ed Davis, former Boston Police Commissioner.

The program was presented by EOPSS, in partnership with MassINC; the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Council; Community Resources for Justice; Massachusetts Correctional Industries (MassCor) and the MBA.