State Sen. Cam Ward, the chairman of the Prison Reform Task Force, said the state needs to strengthen its alternative sentencing and fight a “drug epidemic” to reduce prison overcrowding.
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.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center gathered state and local leaders from across the nation―including respected legislators, court and law enforcement officials and cabinet secretaries―to discuss complex criminal justice policies at its annual Board of Directors meeting during the week of Sept. 17 in Memphis, Tenn.
Washington had a decade-long flirtation with the private prison industry. It ended badly.
Prison admissions have declined by 21 percent in three years, to 23,000 in the year that ended June 30, 2014, down from 29,000 in 2011, according to state data.
Marcie Sillman talks with Marshall Clement, director of state initiatives at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, about his ongoing report on the state of Washington’s prisons.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder praised the Justice Reinvestment Initiative on Tuesday for encouraging a science- and data-driven approach to criminal justice and announced new funding that will further those efforts in select states.
As part of West Virginia’s justice reinvestment approach to controlling prison growth, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced in May the award of $1.26 million in grants to expand substance use treatment and services for individuals at risk of failing on probation or parole.
Approximately 45 percent of the parole population for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole is estimated to have a current or past mental disorder, ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
Justice reinvestment legislation was enacted in March 2014 and the state is projected to avert between $221 and $288 million in construction and operating costs by FY2019.
In June 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie and House and Senate leaders in Hawaii requested technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) to employ a data-driven justice reinvestment approach to develop a statewide policy framework that would reduce spending on corrections and reinvest savings in strategies that increase public safety.
After extensive quantitative and qualitative analyses identified key challenges in the state’s criminal justice system, policymakers developed a policy framework designed to strengthen community supervision, increase accountability, and expand access to substance use treatment.