The War on Drugs in Massachusetts: The Racial Impact of the School Zone Law and Other Mandatory Minimum Sentences

This event is hosted by Northeastern University School of Law and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In the 1980s, Massachusetts embraced the War on Drugs, enacting harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. It took decades to confront the reality that, in addition to being ineffective and costly, mandatory minimums resulted in the pervasive and disproportionate incarceration of Black and Brown people. Panelists will discuss this troubling history, recent reforms, and the prospects for implementing drug policies that are effective, fair, and just. Moderator Hon. Sydney Hanlon, Massachusetts Appeals Court Speakers Massachusetts State Senator William N. Brownsberger, Second Suffolk & Middlesex District Abrigal Forrester, Executive Director, Center for Teen Empowerment Rahsaan D. Hall ’98, Director of the Racial Justice Program, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts Deborah A. Ramirez, Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law This event is open to the public.


6:00pm - 7:00pm