Major Criminal Justice Reform Bill Clears Mass. Legislature With Little Opposition

With only a whiff of opposition, the Massachusetts legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years. 

The passage signals a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism.

The legislation (S 2371), which was the product of months of negotiations between the two branches, cleared the Senate 37-0 and was passed by the House 148-5 on Wednesday afternoon. Reps. Nicholas Boldyga, Kevin Kuros, Marc Lombardo, James Lyons and Shaunna O'Connell were the only votes in opposition.