Lawmakers Weighing Mass. Probation Dept. Changes

By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts’ top judge and Gov. Deval Patrick‘s public safety secretary are pushing two very different proposed solutions for overhauling the state’s beleaguered probation system.

Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan said the best way to fix the system is to adopt Patrick’s proposal to combine the Probation Department with the Massachusetts Parole Board and bring both under the control of the executive branch.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland disagreed, saying probation should remain under the supervision of the courts. He said the SJC has already taken steps to repair the system.

Heffernan and Ireland testified Wednesday at a Statehouse hearing before the Judiciary Committee.

Lawmakers are grappling with the fallout from a report released last year that documented evidence of widespread political patronage at the Probation Department.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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