Delighted to receive this press release from District Attorney Ryan:
District Attorney Marian Ryan Supportive of Criminal Justice Reform:
As a prosecutor for more than thirty years I am a firm believer in progressive, thoughtful legislative reform. Our criminal laws should not be solely punitive, but also serve to rehabilitate while ensuring the highest level of public safety.
I support many of the principles reflected in the Senate Criminal Justice Reform legislation. In fact, I have helped to craft several pieces of this bill including the restorative justice language that would establish statewide practices to intervene in the lives of at-risk youth and young adults. In Middlesex County we have long practiced restorative justice and diversion and I have seen the benefits of implementing a collaborative approach that offers alternatives to prosecution, reduces recidivism and encourages treatment.
I support the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenses that do not include distribution of opioids or distribution to minors. I am also supportive of the provisions of the bill that end driver’s license suspension where vehicle operation is not related to the charge; the waiver of the payment of certain court fees if the payment would constitute a substantial financial hardship; and raising the threshold for larceny charges.
I have had the opportunity to participate in many forums about criminal justice reform and look forward to remaining engaged in the dialogue about other aspects of this proposal. I do have concerns about some parts of the bill that I believe deserve closer study. I will continue to work with our partners in the legislature to craft a bill that substantially reforms and improves our criminal justice system.