Legislature to Vote on Sweeping Criminal Justice Changes

BOSTON (AP) — A compromise bill that calls for sweeping changes in the state’s criminal justice system could be on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk before the end of the week.

A House-Senate conference committee announced an agreement on the legislation March 23 after several months of negotiations.

The Senate has scheduled an up-or-down vote on the measure Wednesday, followed by the House on Thursday.

Included in the 121-page bill are provisions that would eliminate some mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, while increasing penalties for trafficking in the deadly synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanil.

The legislation would also, for the first ever, allow certain criminal records for juveniles and young adults to be expunged.

The Senate is also expected to act on a House-passed bill that focuses on reducing prison recidivism.

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