Criminal Justice

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Sudden infant death: Agency-linked babies more at risk

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Children in homes supervised by state social workers die suddenly and unexpectedly at least twice the rate of infants statewide, according to an analysis of the most recent available data by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. That suggests to child welfare advocates that more should be done to educate caretakers of some of the state’s most vulnerable children about how to minimize the risk of sudden death. Continue Reading →

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Explosion of drug-dependent infants reveals weakness in Mass. child protection

The Grave of Mya Barry in Pine Hill Cemetery, Quincy, Mass. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe)

Mya Barry's brief life and untimely death point to weaknesses in a social services system that is struggling to deal with the region’s booming addiction to prescription and illegal drugs — a plague that has besieged hospitals with drug-exposed newborns and overwhelmed state social workers for the past five years. Continue Reading →

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Massachusetts children under state protection die from abuse with alarming frequency

Andrea Rizzitano, holding a picture of her late newphew Kadyn Hancock. 
(Photo Credit Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)

Kadyn Hancock’s aunt said she repeatedly tried to warn state officials that the 13-month-old’s mother might hurt him. But no one heeded her pleas and Kadyn’s mother killed her baby in 2010. Continue Reading →

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Despite new anti-trafficking law, effort to shift focus to Johns struggles

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When six men were arrested in downtown Boston in the fall of 2012 for allegedly seeking underage prostitutes in a police sting, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley touted the arrests and released the men’s names and pictures to local media. It was meant to put all potential sex buyers on notice – those seeking girls and women of any age could expect to be treated as criminals, part of a statewide get-tough-on-Johns campaign.
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Juvenile Life Without Parole: Massachusetts Moves Cautiously Towards Reform

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Massachusetts juveniles incarcerated for life without parole will likely wait well into 2013 or beyond for a chance at reduced prison time as lawyers, prosecutors, legislators and advocates carefully craft a strategy to bring the state into compliance with new federal law outlawing the mandatory sentence. Continue Reading →

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Our Youngest Killers

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One 16-year-old went looking for pot at a Brookline High School graduation party, then shot the guest of honor in the chest when he got a racial slur instead. The other 16-year-old stabbed a man 23 times inside his Springfield apartment, returning the next day to steal things from the victim’s home while his body lay nearby. Continue Reading →

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