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 2012, Idaho’s crime rate was among the lowest in the nation, however, recidivism had increased between FY2008 and FY2012. Adults convicted of nonviolent crimes that were released from prison in 2012 served twice as much time in prison compared to the national average. Idaho’s prison population was projected to increase 16 percent between FY2014 and FY2019. From 2013 to 2014, the CSG Justice Center worked with Idaho state leaders to develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce spending on corrections and increase public safety. CSG Justice Center experts analyzed Idaho’s criminal justice data and interviewed stakeholders across the criminal justice system. State policymakers enacted justice reinvestment legislation in 2014. Among other things, the law:
- Strengthens supervision practices and programs designed to reduce recidivism;
- Tailors sanctions for supervision violations, provides recidivism outcomes at sentencing, and structures parole to make more productive use of prison space, and
- Assesses, tracks, and ensures impact of recidivism-reduction strategies.
The law will help the state avoid up to $288 million in construction and operating costs that would otherwise be needed to accommodate the forecasted growth by FY2019. To achieve these outcomes, the state reinvested nearly $4 million in FY2015 for training probation and parole officers, providing community-based treatment services to people on supervision who are at a higher risk of reoffending, and implementing quality assurance measures. The state expects to see a reduction in recidivism of up to 15 percent through improved community supervision. Idaho is receiving ongoing implementation guidance from the CSG Justice Center.
Publications & Presentations
If implemented, the package of policies outlined in the framework has the potential to generate significant savings in Idaho and estimates a 15-percent reduction in recidivism.
Presentation of strategies and policy options to reduce spending on corrections and increase public safety delivered to the Idaho Justice Reinvestment Working Group on December 11, 2013, at the Idaho State Capitol.