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April 15, 2007

Massachusetts new Governor looking at sentencing reform

It is refreshing to see new officials bringing a healthy new perspective to sentencing issues.  According to this Boston Globe article, that's what's happening in Massachusetts:

Governor Deval Patrick has launched a comprehensive review of the state's mandatory sentencing laws, an effort endorsed by the attorney general and the chief justice of the state trial courts to help stop the "revolving door" in the state's prison system.  "People come out more dangerous than when they went in," Patrick told the Globe last week, explaining his administration's focus on fundamentally changing the philosophy of the criminal justice system.

Administration officials say that the mandatory minimum sentences, which eliminate judges' discretion in certain cases, drive up the cost of corrections and make it less likely that prisoners will participate in programs that could help them reenter society when they are released.  Because those prisoners cannot get out early for good behavior, critics say, they have little incentive to participate in programs while in prison.  And they are barred by law from enrolling in work release, rehabilitation, or furlough programs outside their institution, according to Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, an undersecretary for public safety. Once they wrap up their sentence, she added, they are sent back into society unsupervised.

The effort to revamp these laws is part of a larger administration policy aimed at preparing criminals for life after prison, including changes to a program that allows employers to review the criminal records of potential employees.  Without a comprehensive plan to reintegrate the thousands of criminals who get out of Massachusetts prisons each year, Heffernan said, many will return to crime.

Administration statistics indicate that nearly half commit a crime during their first year after release. "The concept of the revolving door -- the governor and the secretary want to look at how we stop that," Heffernan said, referring to Public Safety Secretary Kevin Burke.  "People are moving away from the breaking-rocks portion of the program. This administration is going to take a more thoughtful and appropriate look at what works and what doesn't."

April 15, 2007 at 08:18 AM | Permalink


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Given Deval Patrick's rush to scream prejudice over a guilty rapist's conviction (and his subsequent dissebling), I hope that we don't repeat the Dukakisesque desire to foist violent criminals upon society a la Willie Horton.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 17, 2007 1:42:20 AM

I have but one thing to say, that is the statement made by Gov. Patrick of, "people come out more dangerous than they did when they went in". The man needs to be a TRUE, ROLE MODEL for ALL governors in ALL STATES in this sick and demented, U.S.A. This guy has the ONLY plain and simple but so VERY REAL diagnosis for what happens and then further, what comes from all of that when each and every of these inmates come out more of an "alien creature" than that of the young, human man/woman the inmate once was prior to being tossed among the rabid lions when these humans were thrown into a damn prison along w/a LOT of VERY, VERY ILL PEOPLE. I am so sorry for all of the people who have fallen prey to the elderly they encountered (most as KIDS)once they turned '18 yrs' and then tossed into the prison system which (our) Gov. 'a'nold' is so very keen on keeping up, the rotten way in which all of this is done and the procedures which most Rep's want to keep, as old as they are, and I for one wish I could do something so very monstrous (that is on the way of "weight") to reconstruct the ENTIRE California prison system and the system's ways of dealing w/our SO VERY YOUNG people. These are "KIDS" damn it. Most have NEVER killed ANYONE or even TRIED TO, or even robbed anyone, much less a damn bank or Brink's truck. Come on people, what is wrong with all of you? If all of us don't do something REAL SOON then the demise, the very future of so many "kids" is in the hands of a 'sick and diabolical' Gov., along w/his cohorts. I can't even begin to impress upon you how real this is and how, perhaps, in some of your minds, this means nothing, perhaps because many of you have NO one to consider when thinking of this or maybe some of you have just one person in your entire life that you wish could "pay for what you think he/she should pay for", does that make it right? Does this all make it acceptable, especially in GOD'S EYES, to persecute and condemn even one person? I for one do not believe in a lot many of you are reading right now and for this reason I choose not to share what I believe/not believe in. So many of US are so very quick to judge and SHAME ON ALL OF US, isn't it bad enough that we have a 'Bush' for our President (ugh) and a 'Schwarzenegger' for our 'Gov' (ugh, ugh)? Those we want to come home from the Far East we pray for or some of you hope for anyway, I hope....but 'bush' is the one who is keeping so many who are alive this second from EVER RETURNING home, and then a great "ACTOR", a'nold....your Gov. in CA. as is mine (although I tell myself he is NOT MY 'gov') is doing ALL HE CAN, even behind the backs of 'legislature' as he creeps around in the dark to build a new DEATH CHAMBER, and it IS NOT GOING TO STOP THERE, TRUST ME.........this Joke of a Man (?) "jerkoff" is tossing more and more and more KIDS into prisons that are ALREADY FILLED FAR BEYOND CAPACITY. Come on now.....do you truly believe that building more prisons or creating more and more beds is the answer? I know it is NOT for I do believe in "MY HIGHER POWER" and I have prayed and prayed over this. All of you do what it is you do and I can only pray that you make the right decision (s). These two men alone are the very two who are building "trenches", trenches whereby no one will ever benefit from and no good and decent person will ever lift himself from those very trenches. These people need to be stopped and it is up to each and every one of us to do our part. I beg you, please, bleed your own conscience and be slow to answer and slow to anger and slow to assign or resign yourselves from what is is that your heart tells you to do. I just CANNOT take too much more w/out just wanting to go ballistic myself. I am truly praying that all of us can do what is right. There is ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY. Ask your hearts. I also ask you to recall what I first started writing about in this post, about what a decent or at LEAST, who appears as a good and decent Gov. Patrick and think on what he has said. He is by far, not alone in his thinking, this I know. In closing I wish to say I want to write my own 'biography' and then, if anyone reading this read it prior to this week, had it been done, of course, you would most likely agree with me, and that is how monumental my life has been and it has been filled full of political corruption, and much more involving a loving Mother, a single Mother of two, many years apart and trust me when I say I have seen more than most of you who are making BIG decisions. Go with GOD....................

Posted by: Jody Ottervanger-Floyd | Apr 21, 2007 4:02:31 AM

Hello and Goodnight, but I've been asked to give a brief description of who I am before posting my 'blog' so I am a middle aged student who never completed her degree at Cal St Hayward, CA. It is difficult when you are a single Mom twice, and 16 yrs apart but I can prove I am a student of four yrs who never fell below a "3.62 GPA" and I earned every bit of it. Thank you and g'nite, Jody, aka Johanna......."Nicks Mom".....

Posted by: Jody Ottervanger-Floyd | Apr 21, 2007 4:07:08 AM

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