Edward “Ned” Loughran, a former priest who devoted his life to juvenile corrections reforms and fought against the types of prisons and laws that could turn young offenders into better criminals instead of better people, has died of cancer at 76, the Boston Globe reports. Loughran, who was Massachusetts Youth Services commissioner from 1985-1993, became a leading figure in juvenile corrections. He founded the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators in 1994.
His Massachusetts department was cited in 1989 by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency as the nation’s most cost-effective juvenile justice agency with the lowest recidivism rate. “He was grounded in social justice Catholicism and it showed in everything he did. Though he left the priesthood physically, he never left the values he learned in the seminary,” said former Massachusetts secretary of human services Philip Johnston, who worked with Loughran in state government and at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Loughran became director of the National Juvenile Justice Project at the RFK center in 1993.