Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus Applauds Passage of Medical Placement, Juvenile Justice Bill

Boston—The Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus, co-chaired by Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland) announced the passage of two priority pieces of legislation of the Caucus, the medical placement bill and a juvenile justice bill.

“I am pleased that some of the leading priorities of the Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus are at the forefront of legislative activity as session nears the end,” said Senator Eldridge. “The Caucus has been pushing for the passage of these bills to help build on our commitment to reasonable, humane, best practices when it comes to improving our criminal justice system.”

“I applaud the Senate’s action on juvenile justice and medical parole for terminally ill inmates,” said Representative Tom Sannicandro. “This signifies the growing momentum nationwide for evidence-based policies that prioritize rehabilitation and a fair and effective criminal justice system.

2415, An Act relative to medical placement of terminal and incapacitated inmates, creates a process for the Department of Correction (DOC) and the county Sheriffs to place terminally ill and permanently incapacitated prisoners who are no longer a threat to the public in settings outside of state prisons and county jails, allowing eligible inmates to receive end-of-life care at nursing homes or in hospice care.

S.2417, An Act promoting transparency, best practices, and better outcomes for children and communities, updates various areas of the law relating to juvenile justice to encourage rehabilitation and positive future outcomes for youth, reduce recidivism and ensure fair treatment of children. A provision of the bill that the Caucus has been advocating for creates a process for the expungement of certain juvenile records for misdemeanor offenses committed before age 18, to allow young people the chance to learn from their mistakes and pursue stable, productive lives as adults.

The bills will be sent to the House of Representative next for consideration.

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