From 2009-2010, the CSG Justice Center worked with New Hampshire’s state leaders to develop data-driven, consensus-based policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. CSG Justice Center experts interviewed stakeholders and conducted a comprehensive analysis of New Hampshire’s criminal justice data to identify challenges facing the state:
- Between 1999 and 2009, despite New Hampshire’s low and stable crime rate, the prison population increased 31 percent and spending on corrections doubled to more than $100 million.
- Recidivism among people released from prison increased in each of the years between 2003 and 2005, pushing the state recidivism rate from 40 to 51 percent, which is above the national average
- Resources for treatment and sanctions to hold probationers and parolees accountable in the community are scarce.
The Justice Reinvestment Act was signed into law in 2010. It includes several policy options designed to address theses challenges. Among other things, the legislation:
- Focuses supervision and resources on high-risk offenders by reducing the length of supervision for low-risk offenders
- Enables probation officers to employ short, swift jail sanctions for minor probation violations, when permitted, by judges at sentencing
- Establishes a seven-day residential intermediate sanction for minor parole violators and a designated ninety-day parole revocation facility to re-engage parole violators in treatment and comply with supervision
These policies are projected to avert up to $160.8 million in new construction and operating costs between 2010 and 2015. Federal support, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Second Chance Act grants, expanded available treatment resources for the high-risk, high-need supervision population. New Hampshire is receiving implementation assistance from the CSG Justice Center.