Lawmakers, community leaders push criminal justice overhaul
BOSTON (AP) — Beacon Hill lawmakers and community leaders are planning to push this week for legislation designed to overhaul the state’s criminal justice system.
Supporters plan a news conference at the Statehouse on Tuesday on a bill that would repeal mandatory minimum drug sentences and reduce certain low-level felonies — such as shoplifting, petty theft, or more minor drug charges — to misdemeanors.
It would also eliminate the law requiring the Registry of Motor Vehicles to confiscate the license of a person convicted of any drug offense.
The bill would also take the money saved from the changes to create a trust fund designed to pay for job training and pre-apprenticeship programs for youth, veterans, victims of violence, and other people with significant barriers to employment.
The fund would also back initiatives to discourage teens from dropping out of school.