Criminal System Involvement

Headline:

Jury trials resumed in Massachusetts state courts on February 14, 2022. COVID protocols will adjust as the COVID-19 situation changes in the state.

Last-reviewed: 9am, June 23, 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.
  • Courts are asking the public to self-screen prior to coming to court. 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.

The Breakdown

  • Jury trials resumed in Massachusetts state courts on February 14, 2022. The general tolling of speedy trial deadlines ordered by the SJC expired in criminal cases on the commencement of the trial or March 14, 2022, whichever occurred first.
  • A negative COVID test result is required before entering a DOC facility– state-run prisons and houses of corrections. The full announcement can be found here.
  • 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 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.

The Bottom Line

  • The State of Emergency ended in MA on June 15, 2021. Courts have returned to near full or full staffing and all courts are open for in-person business. Courts will continue to make virtual services available to the public. More information can be found here.