Criminal justice initiative overdue
August 14, 2015
An op-ed by Johanna Wald. One could almost hear a collective sigh of relief emanating from the Massachusetts criminal justice reform community at the announcement last week that the state would—finally—begin a long-overdue Justice Reinvestment effort. While more than 20 states have already undergone this data driven process aimed at reducing rates of incarceration, “liberal” Massachusetts had been strangely resistant to the federally-backed initiative. In fact, the Legislature veered off in the opposite direction several years ago, passing a controversial “Three Strikes” law to increase mandatory sentences for some offenses.
An op-ed by David Harris and Johanna Wald. On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall spoke to a crowd of 15,000 at Harvard University’s commencement...“The remedy lies in breaking the vicious circle,” stated George Marshall in the speech. Indeed. We propose to create a new Houston/Marshall Plan (named after civil rights giants Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall), focused on helping communities restore themselves after decades of intentional disinvestment. This new Houston/Marshall Plan will advance strategies, innovations, and solutions designed by those living and working in these neighborhoods. It is their voices that have been routinely ignored or silenced in public policy discussions.