About 18 month ago, the state launched its participation in the federal Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This was an ambitious two-year effort with the goal of controlling state spending on corrections and reinvesting the money saved into alternative programs.
Justice Reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism.
States receiving technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center
Other states that have pursued a justice reinvestment approach with technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts or the Crime & Justice Institute include: Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. Learn more about how justice reinvestment works here.
In June, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 236, a Justice Reinvestment bill that aims to rebalance the use of criminal justice resources and invest in strategies that reduce recidivism, support law enforcement, and expand access to behavioral health services. The legislation will avert an estimated 63 percent of projected growth in the prison population over the next decade, saving taxpayers $543 million.
Pointing to the punitive nature of parole and supervision in Philadelphia and across the state, District Attorney Larry Krasner has announced his office’s new policy of working with judges to reduce parole and supervision in both felonies and misdemeanors.
Here’s a record Nebraska leaders didn’t want to set: a new high for prison overcrowding.
The Wyoming Legislature passed a slate of bills aimed at tackling criminal justice reinvestment in Wyoming. Based on recommendations from the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, formed after a nearly year-long study, the bills offer science-based solutions to the pressures on the state’s prison system.
Recent CSG Justice Center Posts
The Restitution Resource Center will help states improve the quality of their restitution systems by providing a central source for best practices and successful innovations in the field as well as facilitating peer networks and information exchange.
Last year, Massachusetts passed legislation representing the most significant changes to the state’s criminal justice system in decades. This legislation took concrete steps to incentivize good behavior in prison, divert people to treatment and programming as an alternative to incarceration, and strengthen community supervision.
Before these units existed, people experiencing a mental health crisis who came into contact with police were often taken to jail, which caused crowding in county jails that are simply not equipped to provide the kind of care and treatment that crisis stabilization units can.
The third presentation to the Vermont Justice Reinvestment II Working Group focuses on crime and sentencing trends to help Vermont better understand the front-end system dynamics of who is coming into the criminal justice system and where their case dispositions lead them.
Read how the Justice Reinvestment Initiative helps states’ local law enforcement agencies tackle public safety challenges by providing resources to address law enforcement training needs; crime-fighting strategies; data system upgrades; people experiencing behavioral health crises; and victims services.
The second presentation to the Vermont Justice Reinvestment II Working Group focuses on Vermont’s adult criminal justice system design and programs, including front-end community-based alternatives to incarceration, reentry programming and services, and supervision statuses and structures.