Criminal Justice Reform


As an ardent advocate for criminal justice reform, I believe it’s imperative to address both the moral and fiscal costs of our current system and the toll that decades of shortsighted policies have taken on our communities. I’ve been working with my colleagues in the legislature to enact systemic changes at every stage of the justice system, from arrests to pretrial detention, and from sentencing and incarceration to reentry supports -- and to include prevention in the first place.


I was proud to work for Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system reform in 2010, to reduce recidivism rates, ensure taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely, and make access to criminal records fairer and more effective.


In recent years, a major part of my work in this area has been as the lead sponsor of The Justice Reinvestment Act, which would eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, raise the felony threshold in larceny cases, create a medical parole mechanism in the Commonwealth, and reinvest the savings from these sentencing reforms into community education and workforce development programs. I also pushed successfully to end automatic driver’s license suspensions and exorbitant fines in drug cases, allowing offenders who have served their time to get back to work and resume care for themselves and their families.


The Boston Globe

“It’s a huge historical turning point for our state when you set it in the context of the last several decades,” said Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat and longtime proponent of many of the changes in the package.

Mass. Legislature sends Baker sweeping criminal justice bill

By Joshua Miller | Apr 04, 2018

Jamaica Plain News

At the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast held in Boston, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz passionately called for the passing of a bill that would provide criminal justice reform.

Read: State Sen. Chang-Diaz’s Impassioned Speech for Criminal Justice Reform at MLK Day Breakfast

By David Ertischek | Jan 15, 2018

WGBH Greater Boston

Sen. Chang-Díaz tells Jim Braude why repealing mandatory minimums is critical to MA cj reform

Sen. Chang-Díaz discusses criminal justice reform

Nov 01, 2017

Jamaica Plain Gazette

Thanks to years of significant public pressure, the state legislature is now preparing to take action on criminal justice reform. This is a pivotal moment, and it may not come again for many years.

Pivotal moment for criminal justice reform

By Sonia Chang-Díaz | Oct 27, 2017


Sen. Chang-Díaz discusses the Senate's comprehensive criminal justice reform bill with Karen Holmes Ward.

Criminal Justice Reform at the State House

Oct 23, 2017




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Committee to Elect Sonia Chang-Díaz

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