Watch the round table meeting here.
The Governor’s visit to Worcester was part of a series of round table discussions, much like the one he held in Springfield earlier this month. Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault shared their personal stories to show that Massachusetts laws need to change.
The Baker-Polito Administration believes that the current state laws are failing victims because there are not enough protections in place to prevent dangerous individuals from ending up back on the streets. A dangerousness bill that they’ve filed this session would allow judges to consider more than just the specific charges before them when making a decision on a defendant’s release. The bill would also expand the list of offenses that can be used to hold a defendant as a dangerous person before their trial.
“Fixing some of the common sense loopholes that exist in existing state law has been so hard to change and I do think part of that is, it’s difficult to get survivors to speak publicly about what they’ve been through,” remarked Baker.
While there is some criticism on the bill’s language the changes proposed actually have a lot of support from the public and the law enforcement community. The dangerousness bill remains before the Judiciary Committee, and the House has given committee members until April 15 to decide on it.