Criminal System Involvement

Headline:

Massachusetts has eliminated parole and probation fees effective July 2022, meaning that people who pre-paid these fees will get refunds.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Sept. 22, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • Jury trials resumed in Massachusetts state courts on February 14, 2022.
  • Many court services are still available remotely. There is also a helpful guide to attending a hearing virtually.
  • Wearing a mask to court is encouraged but no longer required. The full court system health and safety protocol can be found here.
  • Cell phones are permitted in all courthouses.
  • As of July 2022, Massachusetts eliminated probation and parole fees.

The Breakdown

  • Jury trials resumed in Massachusetts state courts on February 14, 2022.
  • Per the DOC COVID-19 visitor rules, visitors must take a rapid COVID test at a DOC regional test site before visiting a person in a DOC facility.
  • Individuals with loved ones in custody at a sheriff-run local jail or house of correction should contact that specific sheriff department for visitation information.
  • Individuals can communicate with loved ones who are incarcerated by setting up a prepaid video visitation account with Securus.
  • The CORI and Re-entry Project at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) has a Virtual CORI Sealing Clinic on the 2nd Wednesday every month from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The Clinic provides low-income community members with free legal information about their rights and assists eligible community members with sealing and expunging their records. Register for a CORI Sealing Clinic here. People can also go in person to the Roxbury courthouse, 65 Warren St., 2nd Floor, on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 9am to noon.
  • Lawyers Clearinghouse has partnered with the City of Boston, Codman Square NDC, and Urban Edge to provide free, virtual CORI sealing clinics to community members who need assistance in sealing or expunging their Massachusetts-based CORI. Signing up can be done online.
  • Massachusetts has taken a step toward reforming criminal justice laws by eliminating monthly supervision fees, administrative probation fees, and victim services surcharges fees. Learn about probation fees that are eligible to be refunded here.
  • People seeking help with incarcerated loved ones may find self-help materials online or can call Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts.

The Bottom Line

  • Courts have returned to full staffing and all courts are open for in-person business. Courts will continue to make virtual services available to the public.