Critics sometimes refer to American prisons as “warehouses,” but that suggests that people go out the same way they came in. Recent events remind us that understaffed prisons can cause harm, not only for people who are incarcerated, but also those who work there.
Justice Center in the News
As the bipartisan movement to improve our criminal justice system continues its push across the country—and presidential candidates discuss the best ways to lower incarceration rates—reforming probation and parole presents an opportunity that should top the list.
Wisconsin is one of 13 states where more than one in three people in prison are there for a supervision violation, The Council of State Governments Justice Center found.
Megan Quattlebaum, director of The Council of State Governments Justice Center, said that “many states have made recidivism reduction a public safety priority, but the harsh reality is that supervision fails nearly as often as it succeeds.”
In June, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 236, a Justice Reinvestment bill that aims to rebalance the use of criminal justice resources and invest in strategies that reduce recidivism, support law enforcement, and expand access to behavioral health services. The legislation will avert an estimated 63 percent of projected growth in the prison population over the next decade, saving taxpayers $543 million.
The Miami County Jail kicked off their involvement in the Stepping Up Initiative—a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails—on June 19, joining over 45 other Ohio counties.
About 4 to 5% of Americans are seriously mentally ill, compared with as many as 18% of those in jails, according to Risë Haneberg, who leads the Stepping Up initiative on behalf of The Council of State Governments Justice Center.