Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 27, 2010
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Legislative News

CORI Reform enacted in the House; Senate adopts Probation Amendment

Yesterday, the House of Representatives enacted legislation that would reform Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) laws to limit access, provide greater accuracy, seal records earlier and provide greater clarity in the reports.

The Senate passed a broader version of the bill late last year. The Senate version, in addition to reforming CORI laws, contains MBA-backed provisions that would grant parole eligibility for certain non-violent drug offenders. It would also grant eligibility for work release programs. Both bills will now be sent to a conference committee where the differences will be worked out between them. The MBA will continue to make the case for parole and work release eligibility with the conference committee.

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Senate adopts Probation Amendment

Yesterday the Senate adopted an amendment to its version of the state budget that would reform the probation department in the wake of the Spotlight Series in the Boston Globe earlier this week. The amendment, filed by Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, would limit the appointment of the Commissioner of Probation to a five-year term, would place probation staffing decisions in the hands of the Commissioner of Probation with the approval of the Chief Justice for Administration and Management (CJAM), and would grant transferability to the CJAM. The Senate plan would also establish a task force to make a recommendation on whether the probation department should remain with the judicial branch, move to the executive branch or offer an alternative. The MBA has a seat on the task force. The Senate is expected to wrap up its budget debate tomorrow. The House completed work on its budget last month. The House budget does not contain the same probation department language as the Senate. A conference committee will be appointed and the differences between the two budgets will be worked out.

 

For More Information Contact Lee Ann Constantine, Legislative Activities Manager at [e-mail lconstantine]

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