Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007
Image for DW Testimony
Photograph by Kelsey Sadoff
MBA President David W. White Jr. testified before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary earlier this week.

MBA president testifies at Statehouse hearing

David W. White Jr. asks for sentencing reforms before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Massachusetts Bar Association President David W. White Jr. asked for the repeal of mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes and an increase in both parole opportunities and treatment programs when he testified before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary at the Statehouse on Nov. 13.

“Massachusetts is a leader in so many ways; it should be a leader in the field of corrections,” White said. “Crime rates have not been reduced, the number of men and women behind bars continues to rise, we are desperately over capacity, and we are spending a fortune on this failed system.”

White was joined by Boston Bar Association President Tony Doniger and Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services Executive Director Leslie Walker. The Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony regarding bills asking for reform of the state’s sentencing system.

Current sentencing practices have resulted in a budget approaching $1 billion, more than 25,000 incarcerated residents and less money for programs that include drug treatment and work training, White said during his testimony.

In addition to advocating for education and training programs, White asked for amending or abolishing the school zone statute that results in harsher punishments for drug arrests close to schools.

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