The enlightened MA voter is sick of wasting money and human potential on imprisonment:
Two-thirds of residents said prevention programs for youth and job training and education for inmates should be higher priorities in addressing crime than longer prison sentences or putting more police on the streets, according to the poll released Thursday by MassINC, a nonpartisan Boston-based think tank focused on Massachusetts public policy issues. MassINC is the publisher of CommonWealth.
…Just 8 percent of registered voters said mandatory minimum sentences were the best way for judges to deal with those convicted of crimes, while 46 percent favor allowing judges to use their discretion in sentencing, within certain guidelines, and 41 percent favor giving judges complete leeway to determine the most appropriate sentence on a case by case basis.
If MA would like to be less racist, law enforcement and sentencing would be a great place to start:
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, who has filed a more comprehensive reform bill, said black and Latino residents make up less than one-fifth of the state’s population, but account for half of the incarcerated population and 75 percent of the population serving mandatory minimum sentences.
Hopefully this poll will motivate DeLeo and Baker to proceed more boldly on criminal justice reform. They’ve rolled out a limited set of reforms intended to reduce recidivism, but not followed the advice of SJC Chief Ralph Gants with regard to reforming mandatory minimums, bail, etc.
The poll was released, incidentally, just before we learn that AG Sessions is reversing Obama-era policy, requiring federal prosecutors request mandatory minimums for drug offenses. Sessions is a thoroughly-documented, unvarnished racist; full re-implementation of 1980’s drug hysteria is the MO. And he has a puritanical hostility to recreational use of even marijuana.
“We’re on a bad trend right now. We’ve got too much complacency about drugs. Too much talk about recreational drugs,” Sessions said, railing against what he called “the pro-drug crowd.”
May MA stand for #resistance. They go one way, we go the other.