More political leadership and a sense of urgency is needed to reform Massachusetts’ corrections practices, former state Attorney General Scott Harshbarger writes for the Boston Globe. “In terms of taxpayer dollars, accountable performance, and public safety, we can no longer afford state correctional and probation systems that are structurally and administratively ineffective and inefficient – riddled with political patronage, funded with large budgets and high costs, and unnecessarily poor outcomes,” he says.
A commission Harshbarger headed advocated reforms in 2004 to then-Gov. Mitt Romney, but many have not been adopted. Harshbarger now is board chair of a group called Community Resources for Justice, which is pushing for changes. Harshbarger urges citizens “to use this election season as a ‘teachable and educable moment’ by challenging our current and future elected leaders to respond – and if not now, when?”