Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 211E, section 2, the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission is directed to recommend sentencing policies and practices for the Commonwealth.  In order to help the Commission formulate recommendations for sentencing policies and practices, the Commission requests written comments and/or public testimony at a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 at 9:00 A.M. at the State House, Great Hall, 2nd Floor, about the issues the Commission has been considering.  Written comments will be accepted until November 1, 2016 at 4:00 P.M. as supplement to, or in lieu of, oral testimony presented before commission members.  Written commentary can be submitted at the hearing, mailed to the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, or submitted by email to drap.admin@jud.state.ma.us.

The public is invited to view current sentencing guidelines and the Survey of Sentencing Practices.

Among the topics related to the Massachusetts sentencing guidelines and statutory revisions under discussion are the following.  No decisions have been made but the Commission is seeking comments on all that follows and any other concerns the public may have.  

1) a series of “gap” and “decay” provisions;

2) changes to how adjudications of delinquency (juvenile convictions) are counted for criminal history purposes;

3) the addition of an Offense Seriousness Level 0 (zero);

4) guidelines as to the length of probation supervision;

5) probation violations; and

6) changes to the current sentencing guideline ranges.

7) a safety valve provision example, in conjunction with

8) a presumptive supervised release provision example;

9) repeal of archaic and/or unconstitutional statutes; and

10) amending section 3 of Chapter 279, to allow judges more flexibility in sentencing a probationer when surrendered, found here.