Massachusetts Criminal Justice Bill Still ‘Work in Progress’

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are trying to hash out details of legislation intended to make major changes to the state’s criminal justice system.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have already floated a wide-ranging bill.

Besides eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses while increasing penalties for others, the proposal calls for a reduction in court fees charged to low-income defendants and changes in solitary confinement procedures in state prisons.

Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo said this week that the House version of the bill is still a work in progress, but he’s hoping to get it to the floor for a vote sometime in the next several weeks.

DeLeo has called in former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland to help the House hammer out their version of the bill.

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