Between 2000 and 2011, Pennsylvania’s spending on corrections increased 76 percent, from $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion, while the number of people in prison increased 40 percent, from 36,602 to 51,312. From 2011 to 2012, the CSG Justice Center worked with Pennsylvania state leaders to develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. CSG Justice Center experts interviewed stakeholders across the criminal justice system and conducted a comprehensive analysis of Pennsylvania’s criminal justice data. In 2012, Pennsylvania’s justice reinvestment policies were signed into law. Among other things, the law:
- Provides law enforcement with resources to deter crime as well as increase funding for data-driven statewide victim initiatives and community-based services;
- Redesigns the state’s residential community corrections programs as parole transition and violation centers; and
- Sanctions technical parole violators to capped terms in community corrections programs.
These policies are projected to save the Commonwealth up to an estimated $253 million over five years. According to a statutory formula, Pennsylvania will reinvest a portion of realized savings in local law enforcement, county probation and parole, and victim services. The CSG Justice Center continues to work with the Commonwealth to provide assistance in the implementation of these policies.