Pretrial Reform: The Potential Role of the Office of Community Corrections (OCC) for Justice-involved Women in Massachusetts

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

Year Published: 2015

SKU: FD227


In 2013, the MWJN identified the inequities experienced by women in pretrial detention in Massachusetts as one of its two action-platform priorities. Since then, members have worked with advocacy groups, legislators, policymakers, and administrators to create greater awareness of alternatives to money bail and pretrial detention.

Consequently, the MWJN welcomes pending legislation on pretrial reform, particularly the fact that Senate docket #S 4111 mentions women: “The Commissioner (of Corrections) may, upon approval of the Commissioner of Probation, place female prisoners held for trial in a community corrections program.”

This Briefing Note suggests how OCC could become more responsive to women’s circumstances and needs, particularly in the delivery of pretrial services. These suggestions are based on the findings of a 2010 research project and an overview of 2014 OCC caseloads, conducted by Erika Kates, Ph.D.

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