Cognoscenti: Improving The Massachusetts Criminal Justice System

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Thursday morning Governor Patrick led a forum on one of the big challenges in the criminal justice system: how to help former inmates re-enter society and stay there.

Among the governor's initiatives are plans for better access to educational, vocational and life skill programs, as well as expanding substance abuse detox and rehab programs.

According to Dr. Don Berwick, the state is going in the right direction on this issue, but that it needs to go further.


Dr. Don Berwick, president emeritus at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and a former candidate for governor of Massachusetts.. He tweets @donberwick.


WBUR's Cognoscenti: Make Massachusetts’ Criminal Justice System A Model For The Nation

  • "Criminal justice reform should be a centerpiece of Massachusetts policy. Our goal should be to become the model for the nation within five years. Aims should include: halving the prison population by 2020; ending the unconscionable racial inequity in incarceration; adopting statewide the best-known programs, drawn from anywhere in the world, for preventing imprisonment; assuring rehabilitation and supporting re-entry; restoring sentencing discretion and capacity to the courts; and, immediately, providing expanded and stable budgetary support for the highly effective youth-oriented interception programs like UTEC, ROCA and SSYI."

This segment aired on December 18, 2014.


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