Fair, effective and cost-efficient reforms are at the core of the BBA's work on sentencing. In 1991, we published The Crisis in Corrections and Sentencing in Massachusetts (PDF), a task force reporthighlighting the need for guidelines judges could reference when issuing sentences. The report led to the establishment of the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission to oversee sentencing reform.
opposes mandatory sentencing minimums for the majority of crimes, as we believe such a rigid policy which overlooks details pertinent to individual cases and creates an unnecessary financial burden is not in the best interest of the public or the Commonwealth. We have consistently advocated for the establishment of a tough, effective, and cost efficient system of intermediate sanctions, in lieu of incarceration for non-violent offenders.
Re-entry & Parole The BBA believes the successful reintegration of prisoners into society is a fundamental component of making communities safer, and supports policies which provide treatment, training and other assistance to ex-offenders. The Association played an integral role in the passage of Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform legislation in 2010, which removes obstacles for ex-offenders to find employment and addresses inaccuracies and accessibility problems that previously existed in CORI.
The BBA has consistently supported an increase in the use of parole, seeing it as an opportunity for individuals to reacquaint themselves with the responsibilities and freedoms exercised outside of confinement while under the Commonwealth’s strict supervision. We have been an active participant in the frequent dialogue about ways the parole process can be improved to better serve former prisoners and the community at-large.