A comprehensive reform proposal to strengthen Alabama’s corrections and criminal justice system and reduce the state’s severe prison crowding was released to the public today, in conjunction with a parallel policy framework developed by an interbranch task force of Alabama leaders, officials and stakeholders.
News and Announcements
A first-of-its-kind study comparing Texas youth with nearly identical characteristics shows that juveniles under community-based supervision are far less likely to reoffend than those incarcerated in state correctional facilities, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in partnership with Texas A&M University, announced today.
Proposal averts more than $300 million in corrections spending, eases prison crowding and improves public safety.
Inter-branch Justice Reinvestment Taskforce develops proposal to supervise property offenders after incarceration, invest in data-driven policing.
The bipartisan, interbranch Washington State Justice Reinvestment Taskforce convened by Governor Jay Inslee has endorsed a set of policy options aimed at tackling the state’s high property crime rate, now ranked the highest in the nation.
Congressional leaders committed to improving mental health services and public safety joined the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center today for a briefing on the new wave of national efforts to reduce the overwhelming number of people with mental disorders cycling through U.S. jails.
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.
The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of Salt Lake County’s jail population in an effort to identify ways to reduce re-offense rates among people released from jail and design strategies to improve outcomes for the large portion of the jail population struggling with mental and substance abuse disorders.
Justice Center in the News
Senator Al Franken (MN) and Congressman Doug Collins (GA09) recently introduced the bicameral, bipartisan Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, a bill that aims to improve the ability of local and state governments, as well as law enforcement, to address the unique needs of mentally ill offenders, before and after they enter the criminal justice system. Their legislation reauthorizes, improves and expands the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act.
At the Houston Police Department, a licensed clinical social worker or caseworker rides along when police answer an emergency call regarding a person presumed to be mentally ill. Some 30 of those ride-along professionals now work out of that department’s relatively new Mental Health Division.
Around the country, schools are finding that policies intended to make schools safer and less chaotic often backfire. A spike in expulsions and suspensions has disproportionately affected black and Latino students, especially in poor communities.
The San Antonio police’s strategy for responding to calls involving people who are mentally ill is being hailed as a national model amid rising anger over police brutality toward and high incarceration rates of people with mental health issues.
Large cities, including New York and Los Angeles, are at the vanguard of a shift away from zero-tolerance school discipline toward less punitive strategies that emphasize talking it out and resolving disputes among students to keep them in school.
According to this study by the Council of State Government’s Justice Center, from 2007 to 2012, the number of juveniles detained in Texas state facilities dropped from around 4,305 to about 1,500, a decrease of 66 percent, while the juvenile crime rate fell by a third.
They’re setting a great example for other departments to emulate,” says Jerry Murphy, a criminal justice mental health policy specialist at the Council of State Governments Justice Center. In 2010, that nonprofit organization designated the LAPD one of six national training sites for specialized mental health policing.
Josh Weber, program director for juvenile justice at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, said in his report that Kansas does not have statewide criteria to help judges and court service officers determine the most appropriate level of supervision is for youth offenders, which might result in inefficient placement within those levels.
The juvenile justice system in Kansas functions inadequately due to a tangled organizational structure, inappropriate assignment of youths to detention facilities, poor use of mental health and substance abuse evaluations and over reliance on lengthy periods of incarceration, a consultant’s report said Wednesday.
The Alabama Prison Reform Task Force today approved a set of policy recommendations intended to reduce prison crowding by curbing recidivism and preserving prison space for violent offenders.