There shall be established a reentry and reintegration council, hereinafter the council, within the parole board. The council shall not be subject to the control of the parole board except as provided by this section. The purpose of the council shall be to implement best practices through a coordinated system of delivering reentry and reintegration services.
The council shall consist of twenty five members of which thirteen members are to be appointed by the governor, including: the secretary of public safety, or his designee, who shall act as co-chair; the secretary of housing and economic development, or his designee; the secretary of labor and work force development, or his designee; the commissioner of department of corrections, or his designee; the commissioner of mental health, or his designee; the commissioner of transitional assistance, or his designee; the commissioner of probation, or his designee; 4 of whom shall be a representatives of private, public, community and faith-based reentry and reintegration programs; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the parole board; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the courts; eight members appointed by the legislature: 1 member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 1 member to be appointed by the senate president, who shall act as co-chair; 1 member to be appointed by the minority leader of the house, who shall act as co-chair; 1 member to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means, or their designees; the chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security, or their designees; two members to be appointed by the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association.
Of the members appointed by the governor hereunder, four shall be appointed for a term of one year, three for a term of two years, two for a term of three years, two for a term of four years and two for a term of five years. Upon expiration of the term of a member appointed by the governor, the successor shall be appointed in a like manner for a term of five years. The council shall meet as often as deemed necessary by the co-chairs, or a majority of the council, but shall not meet less frequently than six times per year.
The council shall, within one year upon passage of this act, establish a uniform definition of recidivism and establish an accountability-based monitoring system which will enable comprehensive and continuous evidenced-based data collection and dissemination on systemic performance at all points in the reentry process including diversion, sentencing, incarceration, post-release supervision and community transition. The council shall produce annual progress reports on recidivism, uniform reentry programs being implemented or piloted, and enable accountability-based monitoring at each level of the system. Said reports shall be used by the council to establish a uniform system of reentry and reintegration based on best practices for evidenced based reentry and reintegration programs proven to reduce recidivism. The council shall submit draft legislation for establishing and implementing a uniform inmate reentry and reintegration program applicable at all Massachusetts state correctional institutions and houses of corrections or jails. The uniform inmate reentry and reintegration program shall reduce barriers to successful reentry and reintegration by enabling multijurisdictional and departmental collaboration focused on evidenced based solutions proven to reduce recidivism.
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