To increase the safety of our roads and provide a license to those who can’t, this bill will separate driver's licenses from valid identification for Massachusetts residents who are denied driving privileges because they are unable to provide a social security number.
This bill eliminates mandatory minimums for drug offenses. Mandatory minimums are incredibly costly and have no evidence to support that mandatory minimums deter crime, reduce crime, or reduce rates of addiction. They are a big driver of prison/jail overpopulation, and reduce the discretion judges have in making decisions.
This legislation increases the hourly pay for private counsel who are appointed or assigned to the following court cases: for homicide cases the hourly compensation increases from $100 to $140; for superior court non-homicide cases, including sexually dangerous cases, the hourly rate increases from $60 to $100; for district court cases, children in need of services cases, children and family law cases, care and protection cases, sex offender registry cases and mental health cases, the hourly pay increases from $50 to $75.
In many cases, victims and witnesses of domestic violence become some of our most vulnerable residents. This legislature will appropriate additional funds to the Witness Protection Board and require that a percentage of those funds be used for the protection of victims and witnesses of domestic violence.
Restorative justice programs can be used to keep certain offenses out of the court system, saving the state valuable time and money, but still holding the offender accountable to the victim and the community. This bill creates an option for law enforcement and courts to refer juvenile and low-level adult criminal offenders to a community-based restorative justice program in lieu of or alongside other responses.
Persons falsely accused of crimes may have charges dismissed, unfortunately these charges remain in their records. This bill will allow expungement of criminal records for anyone who has been falsely accused and juveniles.
Extraordinary Medical Placement
Permits the transfer of seriously ill inmates to a hospital if they are not a public safety risk.
Pretrial and Bail Reform
Moves to a risk-based system in setting bail, reduces prison over-crowding and costs, increases safety by not letting high-risk defendant free just because they can afford bail.