News and Announcements


Press Releases

Senator Portman

Bipartisan Leaders Set to Reauthorize Landmark Criminal Justice Bill; Gathering Celebrates Half-Decade of Recidivism Reduction

Washington, D.C.—In an extraordinary display of bipartisan cooperation, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Howard Coble (R-NC), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) came together today to mark the five-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act and to announce that they, along with other Senate and House leaders, will be introducing legislation reauthorizing the landmark act today. To read the press release for this event, click here.

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez introduces the national forum in Washington on September 26.

A New Approach for Reducing Reincarceration and Joblessness Among Adults with Criminal Histories

Washington, D.C.— White House staff joined leaders from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice at a forum today entitled Bridging Reentry and Workforce Development: A Shared Approach to Strengthening Communities. The event was cohosted by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and its partners at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act Passes U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

NEW YORK—The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) applauded members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for their overwhelmingly bipartisan vote to approve the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA) of 2013. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and U.S. Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) in late January, builds upon the successes of Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) and supports law enforcement training, mental health and veterans treatment courts, and resources for corrections systems and other collaborative approaches to improve responses to people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. The bill now goes to a vote of the full Senate, before moving to the House of Representatives.

Bipartisan Commission Launches Justice Reinvestment and Sentencing Guidelines Review

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Law Revision Commission (MLRC) today launched a review of the state’s sentencing guidelines using a data-driven Justice Reinvestment approach to control corrections spending and reinvest a portion of the savings in strategies to reduce recidivism, hold offenders accountable and increase public safety. The process will include a review of the state’s 15-year-old sentencing guidelines.

Governor Tomblin Praises Achievements Of Established Drug Court

WELLSBURG, W.Va. – On a visit to recognize the first adult drug court in West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ceremonially signed Senate Bill 371, the Justice Reinvestment legislation, which is designed to increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of West Virginia’s criminal justice system by expanding the use of these types of drug courts throughout the state, among other changes.

Governor Brownback Signs Justice Reinvestment Legislation

TOPEKA, Kan.–Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today held a ceremonial signing for HB 2170, a bill that makes significant modifications to the state’s probation and post-release supervision policies with the goal of improving public safety while keeping corrections costs in check. The legislation stems from recommendations made by a bipartisan, inter-branch working group of Kansans over the past year.

Justice Reinvestment Initiative meets House approval

TOPEKA, Kan.—The bipartisan Kansas Justice Reinvestment initiative, a research and data-driven program aimed at promoting public safety while reducing corrections spending, took one step closer to reality on March 1.

Justice Center in the News

Progress in Hawaii’s Prison System

The Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental Affairs and Military Affairs, and the House Committee on Public Safety held a joint informational briefing on the status of the implementation of the Hawaii Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) yesterday.

Now That Legislature Has Approved Prison Reform, What Comes Next in Implementing It?

As Idaho officials have begun considering the implementation of the state’s sweeping new prison reform law passed by the Legislature, two key state agencies are taking a hard look at current usages of some very specific government services. Additionally, policy experts from a national nonprofit group that advised the Legislature on the undertaking of the reforms are working with the state to aid in its implementation.

Editorial: The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his new correction commissioner, Joseph Ponte, have inherited a city jail system in which nearly 40 percent of the 12,000 inmates have mental illnesses — up from about a quarter just seven years ago.