Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MassBudget: Incarceration Trends in Massachusetts

Long-Term Increases, Recent Progress

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Incarceration Trends in Massachusetts:
Long-Term Increases, Recent Progress   

An effective criminal justice system reduces crime and keeps our neighborhoods safe. It both makes sure that those who commit crimes are punished appropriately and that we are smart about rehabilitating them so that they can reenter society as productive contributors to our economy and community. Like in the rest of the nation, incarceration rates in Massachusetts increased dramatically during the 1980s and remained very high for decades. In recent years, several states have begun to implement criminal justice reforms that are reducing unnecessary incarceration. Massachusetts has reformed marijuana laws leading to a significant reduction in the number of people incarcerated for marijuana possession. Massachusetts has also adopted reforms of our criminal records laws that aim to make it easier for former prisoners to get jobs and participate in to our economy. We are beginning to see declines both in incarceration rates and in recidivism.

Incarceration Trends in Massachusetts tracks and analyzes these trends over the past four decades. We see progress, but also that we have a long way to go: incarceration rates are still much higher than they were before the 1980s, and a large share of those leaving prison and jail are not receiving the education and treatment programs that make their reentry into society more successful. In the long-term, effective criminal justice reforms could protect public safety, reduce unnecessary spending, and help more of our people to participate effectively in our communities.

For the full paper click HERE.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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