BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing a series of changes to the state's criminal justice system, including a renewed focus on substance abuse treatment, limiting the use of restraints on mentally ill inmates, and banning the placement of handcuffs on pregnant prisoners while in labor.
The changes are part of a series of initiatives outlined by Patrick on Thursday designed to reduce recidivism in Massachusetts by 50 percent over the next five years.
Patrick said the effort to prepare inmates to re-enter society must begin the moment they enter prison by providing more educational and training programs.
He said substance abuse should be treated as a health problem and not a criminal issue.
Patrick also said he's setting aside $1 million to train police how to properly handle the mentally ill.