Community Justice in Massachusetts - Collaboration Between System and Community that Reduces Incarceration

Event Start:
02/17/2022 4:00 PM
Event End:
02/17/2022 6:00 PM

Date and Time: Thursday, February 17, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
Webinar Fee: $50

This Program is Online Only

CPCS approved 2.0 CLE credit hours for the Adult Criminal Trial, YAD, MHLD, Adult Criminal Appeals, YAD Appeals, and the SORB/SDP panels.


Sarah Abbott, Ph.D. LSW, Associate Professor & Director, Center for Crisis Response and Behavioral Health; William James College, Founder and Principal, Abbott Solutions for Justice, LLC 

Hon. Serge Georges, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court

Marisa Hebble, MPH, Manager, MA Community Justice Project, Executive Office of the Trial Court

Vincent Lorenti, JD, Executive Director, MA Probation Service-Office of Community Corrections (moderator)

Laura van der Lugt, Ph.D., Justice Policy Specialist, The Council of State Governments Justice Center

Jessica Pina, MEd, Program Manager, MA Probation Service-Office of Community Corrections

Debbie Truong, MA LMHC, Treatment Manager, Social Services Network, Inc.



For more than a decade the American criminal justice system has reckoned with the impacts of incarceration on people and their communities. Research clearly demonstrates the adverse psychological, social, and community impacts of high rates of incarceration. Yet, according to the recent “States of Incarceration” study by the Prison Policy Initiative, America is still the global leader of incarceration with a rate of 664 people per 100,000 behind bars. The adverse impacts of this level of incarceration disparately affect people of color. In Massachusetts, The Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law found that Black people are 7.9 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people and Latinx people are 4.9 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people.

Beginning in 2015 with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and culminating in criminal justice reform legislation in 2018, Massachusetts has made significant strides toward a system that prioritizes racial equity, public health, and community engagement. These reforms recall the community justice movement of the mid 1990s and have at their core key elements on which future reforms can be built.

This presentation will set out key elements of a community justice approach, including problem-solving, partnerships, location, and engagement; highlight panelists’ experience in developing community-oriented alternatives to incarceration; and explore the potential for Community Justice Support Centers to provide a systemic platform for community justice approaches that reduce reliance on incarceration.


  • Introduction
    • Purpose- educate the bar on ways that the Community Justice system is connecting with the community to avoid incarceration
    • Description of Community Justice (10 min) Dr. Laura van der Lugt
      • Focus on problem solving- underlying conditions that contribute to crime
      • Partnerships in the community
      • Bringing interventions like treatment, education, and employment support to the community
  • Views of Community Justice
    • Sequential Intercept Mapping: Community Justice Project- Marisa Hebble
    • Pre-arrest diversion- Dr. Sarah Abbott
    • Importance of Community Justice in sentencing- Honorable Serge Georges (12 min)
    • Description of Community Justice Support Centers- Vincent Lorenti, Jessica Pina, Debbie Truong
    • Testimonials- former Support Center clients and their counselors
  • Q&A

    Online registration is encouraged. For assistance, questions on group discounts, special billing, program content, out-of-state CLE credits, and general CLE information contact Michael Saporito at . Space is limited. Registrations accepted in order of receipt. Same day registrations are $5.00 additional. Registration fees are non-refundable. Registrants for this program acknowledge that during the program their photographic or videographic images may be incidentally taken; registrants agree that the submission of their registrations for this program constitutes their written consent to the Social Law Library’s use of any such image in print and online materials solely for promotion of the Library’s noncommercial CLE seminars and other educational events and activities. Most Social Law Library CLE events are audio recorded. The audio recording is available by digital download, generally within a week after the program date. Most downloads include print material and are $19.95 each. This product purchase is separate from CLE registration and is not included in the price of a CLE registra¬≠tion. CLE credit is only granted when the live program is attended.
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