Police Dash Cams, Body Cams Remain The Exception In Massachusetts

March 31, 2021

When someone dies in a violent encounter with police, people have come to expect to see the video. A police body camera captured Daniel Prude’s death after he was physically restrained by police in Albany, New York last year. In Minneapolis, both police and private cameras caught officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck…

Read More

N.H. Advocates: Driver’s Licenses Would Improve Relations Between Undocumented Immigrants And Police

March 17, 2021

A bill in the New Hampshire State House that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license faces an uphill battle this year. Immigration advocates say the legislation is key to improving relationships they’ve been building with police chiefs across the state’s Southern tier. Aloisio Costa spends a lot of time doing what pastors…

Read More

‘Why’d You Pick Me?’ Eyewitness Reforms Offer Limited Help To Those Convicted Decades Ago

February 16, 2021

In 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court put together a task force of people from all over the criminal justice community. They studied how eyewitness evidence is used in the courtroom and offered science-based recommendations going forward. But it left many people who were convicted before the report still in prison. Read the rest of…

Read More

Vermont Is Trying To Shrink Its Prison Population, But 350 Inmates Are Locked Up Past Their Minimums

April 29, 2020

Prisons are like cruise ships or nursing homes: they are among the riskiest places to be during this pandemic. Today, about 350 Vermont inmates are past their minimum sentences and could be released. And while Vermont prison officials frequently mention that the department has reduced its population by nearly 300 people in response to the…

Read More

His Aunt Saw Red Flags, Police Got A Risk Warrant

October 6, 2019

Melissa Potter was standing in her kitchen when the call came in. It was her estranged nephew, Brandon Wagshol, and she was surprised — he’d never called her before. “When I saw his name on the caller ID, I got worried that maybe something horrible had happened,” Potter said. “Or, you know, maybe something was…

Read More

Why Vermont Raised Its Juvenile Court Age Above 18 — And Why Massachusetts Might, Too

October 3, 2019

As Massachusetts considers changing the way it handles young criminal offenders, it is looking at what’s happening north — specifically, to Vermont. Vermont is the first state to raise the age above 18 for when someone criminally charged goes to juvenile court, expanding what it’s doing in hundreds of lower level criminal cases now. For…

Read More
The Immigration Detention Center at the Bristol County Jail in North Dartmouth. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Massachusetts County Sheriffs, State DOC Will Re-Up Contracts With Federal Immigration Officials

June 27, 2019

There’s an ongoing battle over just how much Massachusetts authorities can legally partner with federal immigration officials. A Supreme Judicial Court decision in 2017 appeared to offer some clarity.

Read More
The number of women incarcerated in Maine is rising fast. Photo by Susan Sharon for Maine Public

As Prison Population Grows, Maine’s DOC Plans to Relocate Women to Long Creek

May 29, 2019

The number of women incarcerated in Maine is rising fast. In the past six years the number of female inmates at the Maine Correctional Center (MCC) in Windham has grown from about 150 to more than 220, as of April. And the state Department of Corrections has a problem: the overcrowded women’s facility is housed in a men’s prison.

Read More
A billboard, at right, on Route 7 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was paid for by the mother of a man who says he was sexually abused decades ago in a now-closed elementary school in Sheffield. This one went up in February. Photo by Nancy Eve Cohen for NEPR

Billboard Prompts Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse To Come Forward, Decades Later

March 14, 2019

The mother of a man who says he was sexually abused as a child in a Berkshire County elementary school paid for two billboards this winter to call attention to the case.

Read More
The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center in Plymouth houses men for court-mandated addiction treatment. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Group Of Civilly Committed Men Sues Massachusetts Alleging Gender Discrimination In ‘Section 35’ Law

March 14, 2019

A group of men is suing the state of Massachusetts over the law, known as “Section 35,” that allowed a judge to involuntarily commit each of them to addiction treatment.

Read More