Lawmakers reach deal on massive criminal justice reform bill

BOSTON (AP) - House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a sweeping overhaul of the state's criminal justice system.

The compromise proposal unveiled by a six-member conference committee on Friday calls for a wide range of reforms in how Massachusetts deals with crime and punishment issues. 

The changes would affect everything from bail to sentencing to the use of solitary confinement in prisons.

The bill would repeal several mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, while also calling for tougher sentences for trafficking in fentanyl, and other powerful synthetic opioids.

The bill keeps the age for automatically entering the adult criminal system at 18. The Senate had proposed raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 19.

The compromise faces an up or down vote in both chambers early next month.

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