The Appointment and Training of Clerk Magistrates and Assistant Clerk Magistrates

A recent Boston Globe Spotlight story highlighted the court system’s use of clerk magistrates to oversee show cause hearings, closed-door proceedings in which clerk magistrates determine whether to press forward with charges against an individual, raising concerns about transparency and equity in the judicial process.

System Responses to Problematic Behaviors by a Child Under 12

As a result of the recent increase in the age of juvenile court jurisdiction at the lower end to 12 for purposes of adjudicating juvenile delinquency, Senator Brownsberger’s office has received a number of inquiries as to how the court system, a school system, or other entities might respond to problematic behaviors by a child under the age of 12.

Changes in Veterans’ Diversion under Criminal Justice Reform and the BRAVE Act

Last month the Massachusetts House and Senate voted unanimously to pass the “BRAVE Act,” a bill designed to expand access to services and benefits for veterans and their families. Although the recently enacted Criminal Justice Reform Law generally expanded diversion availability for adults and juveniles, it eliminated some diversion opportunities for veterans otherwise eligible under the VALOR Act. The BRAVE Act restores one of those opportunities, allowing veterans to be considered for veterans diversion if charged with a first offense operating under the influence (OUI).