Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - December 18, 2017 


Senator John McCain heads home to Arizona ahead of a key vote in D.C. on the GOP Tax plan; also on the rundown: shades of gray, North Carolina's Death Row ages while sentences decline; and a new plan to safeguard wildlife species before they are at risk.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - MA: Criminal Justice

Police and court officers now need more than just an ICE detainer to hold a person in custody, according to a ruling from the state's highest court. (Picssr/Flckr)

BOSTON – It is being called a setback for federal immigration agents. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling Monday that clarified what had been a murky issue for many local police departments. Laura Rotolo, counsel and community advocate for the ACLU of Massachusetts, says

Former state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan has served her sentence for falsifying drug evidence, resulting in dismissal of nearly 24,000 cases. (Pinterest/Truth Kings)

BOSTON – It was big news when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court last week dismissed more than 20,000 drug cases due to misconduct by a former chemist at the state crime lab, but local legal advocates warn the collateral damage will continue. Rahsaan Hall, racial justice director for A

A national model program, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is being credited for a major drop in the number of young people being held in secure detention in Massachusetts. (Department of Youth Services)

BOSTON — The number of Bay State kids being held in secure detention while awaiting court dates has dropped by more than 50 percent over eight years, and local advocates credit a national initiative aimed at diverting young people from incarceration. According to Lynsey Heffernan, state coor

A legal case pending in Massachusetts could set a nationwide precedent for sanctuary cities, even as they are threatened with funding cuts by the Trump administration. (Alex Shure/ACLU Mass.)

BOSTON – Amherst, Cambridge and Northampton are among the Massachusetts cities now under threat of losing federal funding for grants and programs because of their sanctuary city stance. This week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the threat to divert billions of dollars away from s

Data from a new report indicates people in Massachusetts' poorest communities are far more likely to be on probation and paying monthly probation fees. (Prison Policy Initiative)

EAST HAMPTON, Mass. – A new report says the fees that Massachusetts charges to people on probation are falling disproportionately on those who live in the poorest communities. Wendy Sawyer, who authored the report for the Prison Policy Initiative, says advocates had long suspected those bein

Naomi Goldberg is co-author of a new report that finds transgender people are vulnerable to many forms of discrimination that make them far more likely to end up in jail and prison. (Jimenez/Funders for LGBTQ Issues)

BOSTON – A new report says it is not just controversial bathroom laws, but a wide range of factors that make transgender people vulnerable to a wide range of harm. Naomi Goldberg, the report’s co-author and research and policy director for the Movement Advancement Project, says that in

The future of mandatory minimum sentencing is now in the hands of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. (Swampyank/English Wikipedia)

BOSTON - It is now up to the state's highest court to determine whether a judge in a drug case can impose a sentence lower than the mandatory minimum under state law. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments last week. ACLU of Massachusetts legal director Matt Segal argues

Police should be called to Peck School in Holyoke less often as the result of a settlement with the school district that also calls for reducing the use of restraints on students with disabilities. (Jeff Joniec)

HOLYOKE, Mass. - It is an agreement that should mean fewer students ending up in restraints and fewer cops being called to respond to discipline issues at Peck School in Holyoke. Stanley Eichner is litigation director for the Disability Law Center, which launched an investigation into discipline

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