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Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Signs Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Bill

LINCOLN, Neb.—Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday signed into law a significant overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system designed to halt prison population growth, support victims of crime, and improve public safety by enhancing the supervision of people released from […]

North Carolina Reaping the Benefits of Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011

Three years after enacting comprehensive reforms to its criminal justice system, North Carolina is showing significant signs of success from its data-driven, “justice reinvestment” approach, according to a report released today by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.

Justice Center in the News

Senate Looks at Diversion Programs After Bland Death

“It seems that there was an issue with the follow-through on the initial assessment,” said Dr. Tony Fabelo, director of research for the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Fabelo led off testimony before the first hearing of the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice into ways to prevent future jail suicides.

Idaho Prisons Halt Treatment Program That Was Leading to More Recidivism

Idaho state prisons chief Kevin Kempf has immediately halted all “therapeutic community” programs in Idaho prisons, after an assessment by the Council of State Governments Justice Center found that offenders who go through the programs actually are slightly more likely to re-offend, the AP reports. Inmates who are in therapeutic communities have a 28 percent recidivism rate, compared to a rate of 23 percent for other inmates.

Idaho to Revamp Prison Treatment Programs

Idaho is eliminating one prison treatment program and will be revamping several others after an in-depth assessment showed that some were ineffective and many relied on outdated research. Idaho Department of Correction Director Kevin Kempf announced Thursday that all prison “therapeutic community” programs would be halted immediately, and that a team of employees would start looking for replacements for other treatment programs.

Analyst Tells Raimondo Panel Probation Excessive in Rhode Island

For years, critics of the state’s probation system have complained that probation sentences in Rhode Island last years longer than in other states, that state law makes it easy to put a probationer back in jail and that there is no way for those who behave to reduce their sentences.

National Experts Helping Montana Consider Ways to Reduce Prison, Jail Populations

With Montana’s prison system and jails at 109 percent of capacity and growing, a state commission is taking a hard look at how to reduce that trend–and it’s getting some big-league help. A group of national experts, funded by a private foundation and the federal government, will be crunching the data to analyze what’s behind Montana’s inmate population growth and recommend some potential policy changes.

Utahns Say Mentally Ill Inmates Need Treatment, Not More Jail Time

Salt Lake County just completed a year-long study of people who flow through the criminal justice system–including the county jail. The study found that mentally ill inmates are not consistently getting the treatment they need and are spending too much time in jail waiting for such help. The study also found that the mentally ill are more likely to return to jail.

Heavy Load at Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institutions Intake Center

If Rhode Island wants a criminal justice system that reduces the number of repeat offenders and operates more efficiently, it will have to do a better job of assessing why the people it arrests are getting into trouble and find better ways of getting them into programs that will change that behavior.