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Criminal justice system failing young women on multiple fronts

Friday 9th of August 2019 | Amerique du Nord, États-Unis
Spare Change News
Nouvelle

Boston College Professor Francine Sherman testifies before law enforcement and legislators on how trauma leads younger women to commit crimes.

A group of legislators, advocates, and law enforcement officials met at the Massachusetts State House Tuesday, July 30 for a monthly meeting during which they discussed raising the age of entry into the adult prison system. But this time around, things were a little different.

The Emerging Adults in the Criminal Justice System Task Force focused the entire session on young adult women in the criminal justice system.

The task force was created under the sweeping criminal justice reform law, and is chaired by Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Paul Tucker. Its members are tasked with making a recommendation to Gov. Charlie Baker in December. Currently, a young adult enters adult corrections upon his or her 18th birthday, unless there are special circumstances. That was raised from 17 back in 2013.

Multiple people testified, including Assistant Superintendent of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office Patricia Murphy. Murphy discussed the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center (WCC), which is currently housing 199 women with various sentences, and some awaiting trial.

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