Statement of Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian on White House Discussion on Criminal Justice Reform

Sheriff Koutoujian at White House discussion on criminal justice reform.

Thursday afternoon I was honored to join several colleagues from Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration in attendance at the White House as President Obama and members of the law enforcement community discussed criminal justice reform.

Change is never easy and requires a combination of bold leadership and broad public support.  I believe we are now at a moment in time when meaningful changes can occur, because both of those necessary factors exist.  Listening to President Obama and those members of law enforcement who spoke Thursday, it is abundantly clear to me there is wide agreement on areas where we can strengthen the justice system, especially when it comes to diverting those non-violent offenders with addiction and mental health issues away from incarceration and into treatment.

I look forward to continuing this discussion on the national level, but especially to participating in the discussion here in Massachusetts as the Commonwealth considers our approach to dealing with non-violent offenders and those with addictions who come in contact with the justice system.