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Massachusetts Lawmakers Await Criminal Justice Reform Recommendations

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The Massachusetts Legislature is expecting a conference committee to issue recommendations on two different versions of a criminal justice reform bill this month. The bill seeks to end witness intimidation, reduce the threshold for felony larceny, limit solitary confinement and expunge the records of young people, among other issues.  WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, about the legislation following a recent tour of Berkshire County’s house of corrections.

Sheriff Tom Bowler told WAMC in November Berkshire County is one of two counties statewide that operates within its annual budget of about $17.5 million, but without dollars that go directly toward reentry and education, the county’s house of corrections won’t have enough funding for some of those services.

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