Posts tagged "Minimum"

Should the State Minimum Wage Be Increased?

A packed hearing on Beacon Hill Tuesday dealt with the issue of possibly raising the mimimum wage for commonwealth workers, according to an Associated Press report posted on WBUR.com. While those in favor of the wage increase believe it to be about fairness and economic justice, the AP reported business groups said raising the minimum wage would make the state less competitive. Prior to Tuesday, SEIU Local 509 Director of Communications Jason Stephany said in a statement the minimum wage in the state has been at $ 8 an hour since January 2008. “Many jobs at large retail and restaurant chains pay so little that even full-time workers must rely on public assistance for the most basic necessities,” according to the statement.  The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Democrat Marc Pacheco of Taunton and would increase the minimum wage to $ 11 an hour by 2015, followed by an increase based on inflation with the Comsumer Price Index starting in 2016. Do you think the state should increase the minimum wage? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates  South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 13, 2013 at 4:04 am

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , ,

Do You Support Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws?

Mandatory minimum sentence laws remain popular on Beacon Hill. Just last summer, the state passed the so-called “three strikes” bill, which Gov. Deval Patrick signed despite reservations.  However, a new study says that such laws cost the state and taxpayers millions each year—and potentially billions in the future—without much return on investment, as Massachusetts’ recidivism rate remains high compared to other states. Nonpartisan research group MassINC commissioned the study in partnership with the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, a group of those in the criminal justice realm, businessmen and women and community organizers. The study said that the state’s prison population has tripled since the early 1980s because of Massachusetts’ criminal justice policies, while 60 percent of state inmates and a similar percentage of county inmates end up convicted of new charges within six years of release. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of drug offenders and almost 60 percent of non-drug offenders received sentences where the minimum and maximum were very similar. “This sentence structure limits parole eligibility, reducing the incentive offenders have to take steps to self-rehabilitate while in prison,” the report says. “It also means more offenders return to the community without supervision.” Meanwhile, Massachusetts spends an estimated $ 150 each year to keep inmates in jail for longer stays than those committing similar offenses in 1990, the report said. Without reform, over the course of the next decade that figure will total $ 1.5 billion. “This new report looks to models developed elsewhere, including in many ‘red states’ that have stopped prison construction, reduced mandatory sentences, and invested in evidence-based programs to cut cost and increase public safety,” the report says. “Instead of spending more on what doesn’t work, states like Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas are spending less on what does.” Meanwhile, in battling recidivism, Massachusetts has passed in recent years criminal record information reforms, such as prohibiting employers from asking about criminal history on preliminary job application, and reducing the amount of time before certain criminal records can be sealed. Should mandatory minimum sentencing laws be cleared from the books? Should the state keep such laws for specific, serious crimes? How can the state make it easier for those released from prison to be reintegrated in society—and keep them from becoming repeat offenders? Tell us what you think in the comments. South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , ,