Crime, Cost, and Consequences: Is it Time to Get Smart on Crime?


Text Size: AAA
Tools: Bookmark and Share PrintPrint

MassINC, Community Resources for Justice, and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition are proud to present Crime, Cost, and Consequences: Is It Time to Get Smart on Crime?

As the title suggests, the report calls into question Massachusetts's current approach to corrections, which favors long prison stays at the expense of treatment, reentry programming, and post-release supervision. Without a change in course, the report concludes that Massachusetts will spend more than $2 billion over the next decade on corrections policies and practices that provide limited public safety benefit for the taxpayer.

The report shows that models developed elsewhere, including in many “red states” that have halted prison construction, reformed sentencing practices, and invested in evidence-based programs, provide Massachusetts with sound alternatives. Instead of spending more on what doesn’t work, states like Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas have cut corrections budgets and increased public safety for their residents.

Crime, Cost, and Consequences lays the groundwork for a multi-year campaign to make the Commonwealth a leader in the field of corrections. This effort is spearheaded by the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Coalition, committed prosecutors and corrections practitioners, defense lawyers and community organizers, and businessmen and women, working together to reform the Massachusetts criminal justice system. MassINC will support the work of the Coalition with additional research, polling, and civic events.

MassINC, Community Resources for Justice, and the newly-formed Criminal Justice Reform Coalition make up the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, an effort to fuse research, public education, and civic discourse into a multi-year campaign to make the Commonwealth a leader in the field of corrections.

Learn More »

Creative placemaking is an innovative strategy to drive revitalization of Gateway Cities that uses arts and culture to jump-start local economies and transform communities.

Learn More »

MassINC's unique Civic Sense program is geared toward a new generation of leaders. Through lively lectures, panel discussions, and after-work cocktail receptions, Civic Sense offers a forum for civic-minded citizens in their 20s and 30s to meet each other and learn about key public policy issues.

Learn More »


The CommonWealth campaign for Civic Journalism is an 18-month fundraising campaign to continue CommonWealth’s legacy as one of the country’s leading independent news and information outlets. Learn More »

“Open Minds” is a civic engagement program that, in MassINC’s non-partisan tradition, brings together people from opposing viewpoints and cross-disciplines to debate issues on their merit through dialogue, not monologue.

Learn More »
The American Dream Project is a multi-dimensional initiative that includes the MassINC Middle Class Index, long-form journalism in a special fall issue of CommonWealth magazine, and a major forthcoming research report prepared jointly with the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. Learn More »
The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute is proud to present Going for Growth: Enhancing the Economic Impact of Public Transit in Gateway Cities with Comprehensive Service Planning. This new policy brief examines how best practices in transit planning can benefit Massachusetts’s Regional Transit Authorities. Learn More »
Sign up to receive a daily roundup of news and ideas from CommonWealth's The Download.