Massachusetts Prosecutors are Using ‘Dangerousness’ Holds to Keep People Incarcerated Pretrial

October 23, 2019
Joshua Vaughn, The Appeal

In Massachusetts, court rule 58A allows prosecutors to request that a person be held without bail because they believe the person is a threat to society.

A new report from Court Watch MA, an abolitionist organization that is a joint project of the Massachusetts Bail Fund and Families for Justice as Healing monitoring criminal legal reform in the state, found that 58A holds are on the rise even as reliance on cash bail is declining.

“If we’re deciding if someone should be incarcerated indefinitely at the beginning of the court process, that really doesn’t feel like somebody is presumed to be innocent,” Mallory Hanora, executive director of Families for Justice as Healing, told The Appeal. “It feels like they are just getting one type of conviction that is preparing them for another conviction later.”

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