Criminal justice reform is a hot topic. There are many points of view on what it should look like, and through the years, the inability to come together and make decisions about reform have hindered it. However, according to NBC News, there is bipartisan support for changes in the criminal justice system currently that is helping move forward on this important issue.

The trend in Massachusetts, as well as the rest of the country, is to find ways to handle crime that does include putting people behind bars. If you face criminal charges, you may have this reform impact you and receive a sentence that looks much different than you thought it would.

No more mandatory

The state has already thrown out the concept of mandatory minimum sentences. What used to happen is if you faced certain criminal charges, the judge would have no choice but to issue at least the minimum sentence, which included incarceration. Now, judges have more discretion as to sentences.

Rehabilitation

Instead of putting you in prison for a drug crime, reform means that you will probably undergo rehabilitation inside. You may also get an alternative sentence that allows you to tackle drug abuse problems without having to go to prison. This is true of other crimes as well where the court sees potential for rehabilitation and preventing future criminal activity.

Focus on violence

Reform also focuses in on non-violent crime while leaving prison sentences for violent crimes. If you commit a non-violent time, you will likely see alternative sentencing or other options that require less time behind bars.