MBA co-hosts MassINC criminal justice reform summit

Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016
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MBA President Robert W. Harnais (left) introduces a panel discussion at the MassINC Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Policy Summit

The Massachusetts Bar Association co-hosted MassINC's "Third Annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Policy Summit: Working Together for Results," on March 18, at UMass Boston. The theme of the event was the role of cross-agency partnerships within the criminal justice community, focusing on serving individuals with behavioral health conditions, integrating information systems to enable data-driven decision-making and facilitating successful reentry.

The keynote speakers were Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe and Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins. Two of the longest serving sheriffs in Massachusetts, Ashe and Cousins each provided their perspectives on effective cross-agency partnerships.

Following the keynote address, panel discussions were held on "Improving Performance through Cross-Agency Data Sharing" and "Improving Outcomes through Cross-Agency Behavioral Health Partnerships." MBA President Robert W. Harnais introduced the second panel.

"The Massachusetts Bar Association has been a longtime partner of MassINC and we're proud to be part of a coalition that works for criminal justice reform across the commonwealth," said Harnais.

"Beyond the Wall," a film following a small community of men released from prison and attempting to rebuild their lives in Lawrence and Lowell, was shown at the conclusion of the event.

The policy summit was co-presented by MassINC, the MBA and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition.