Some progress

The current state of affairs leads some to worry that this eight-year window for progress, with a reform-minded Patrick in the corner office, will end with very little change.

There has been some progress. CORI reform was significant. The sentencing reforms the Senate has attached to the current crime bill, if included in the final version, would do some good. The probation and parole departments are being cleaned up, and may yet be consolidated and made to work better with other parts of the system. The Department of Correction and sheriff's offices are reforming to the extent they can on their own.

In addition, a Criminal Justice Commission, created without fanfare in last year's state budget, has proven to be an effective forum for cooperation and planning, according to Cabral and others.

But that is all minor tinkering, which does little to alter the massive expense and threat to public safety that the current system represents. Real change will require the state legislature to take up the cause— which they show very little interest in doing.

To read the Talking Politics blog, go to  thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at  dbernstein@phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbernstein.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Talking Politics , Massachusetts, Politics, criminal justice,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID S. BERNSTEIN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MRS. WARREN GOES TO WASHINGTON  |  March 21, 2013
    Elizabeth Warren was the only senator on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, aside from the chair and ranking minority, to show up at last Thursday's hearing on indexing the minimum wage to inflation.
  •   MARCH MADNESS  |  March 12, 2013
    It's no surprise that the coming weekend's Saint Patrick's Day celebrations have become politically charged, given the extraordinary convergence of electoral events visiting South Boston.
  •   LABOR'S LOVE LOST  |  March 08, 2013
    Steve Lynch is winning back much of the union support that left him in 2009.
  •   AFTER MARKEY, GET SET, GO  |  February 20, 2013
    It's a matter of political decorum: when an officeholder is running for higher office, you wait until the election has been won before publicly coveting the resulting vacancy.
  •   RED BLUES: SCOTT BROWN EXPOSES THE EMPTY MASSACHUSETTS GOP BENCH  |  February 15, 2013
    It wasn't just that Scott Brown announced he was not running in the special US Senate election — it was that it quickly became evident that he was not handing the job off to another Republican.

 See all articles by: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN