Could it be that Massachusetts is making the move from “tough on crime” to “smart on crime”? Not quite yet, according to a recent report “Crime, Cost, and Consequences: Is It Time to Get Smart on Crime” published by Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) and MassInc. We were pleased to read this 40 page report, produced by two institutions well-regarded for their public policy work. That’s because the report reinforces what the BBA and the organization now know as CRJ discovered during the course of a study in 1991 — that Massachusetts’ criminal justice policies are unduly harsh and fail to improve public safety.
Punishment cannot be the primary emphasis or the only response to crime. We need to revisit our criminal justice policies, focus on a holistic approach to punishment and take a comprehensive look at the entire criminal justice system in Massachusetts.
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