Recent Posts

U.S. Attorney General Lynch Emphasizes Access to IDs for People Leaving Prisons in #ReentryWeek Announcement

U.S. Attorney General Lynch Emphasizes Access to IDs for People Leaving Prisons in #ReentryWeek Announcement

Kicking off the country’s first-ever National #ReentryWeek, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch invited states to partner with the U.S. Department of Justice in helping people returning home from federal prisons to “turn the page” on their criminal justice involvement. In letters to all 50 governors, Lynch urged state governments to work with the DOJ to enable people leaving federal prisons to use their Bureau of Prisons inmate ID card and official release documentation to secure state-issued IDs.

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Allocate Millions Each to Improve Local Jail Systems

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Allocate Millions Each to Improve Local Jail Systems

Two counties—one in Ohio, the other in Utah—are backing their words with action following separate reports from The Council of State Governments Justice Center that highlighted major disparities in the length of time people with serious mental illnesses stay in each county’s local jail and the rate at which they’re rearrested following their release compared to people with out these illnesses.

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

On April 4, the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued “Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records,” which states that the broad exclusion of people with criminal records in the sale or rental of housing or other real estate transactions may be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Announcements

Apply Now: FY2016 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Apply Now: FY2016 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

The initiative is carried out through partnerships between researchers, educators, and other stakeholders, including law enforcement and mental health professionals. Funding under this program may be used to support and address a wide range of school safety activities, such as school resource officer training, school-based mental health, or improved disciplinary policies.

WEBINARS

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

In this webinar, presenters review the latest findings on the relationship between improved housing stability and reduced recidivism for registered sex offenders; share stories from two communities that have found effective solutions to housing registered sex offenders; and discuss the numerous barriers to developing housing options for registered sex offenders and strategies for overcoming them.

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

This webinar was presented to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees discussed strategies for developing information sharing collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

PUBLICATIONS

State Identification: Reentry Strategies for State and Local Leaders

State Identification: Reentry Strategies for State and Local Leaders

This fact sheet is designed to educate policymakers on the impact of, and models for, issuing state identification for people leaving prisons and jails across the country. State-issued identification is often required to secure housing, apply for employment, and access social services—all factors that can play a critical role in reentry.

Playing the Long Game: Improving Criminal Justice in Texas

Playing the Long Game: Improving Criminal Justice in Texas

Over the past 30 years, the Texas legislature has enacted many criminal justice reforms that shape policy through data analysis, focus on people with mental illnesses in the justice system, and improve distinct components of the system, from indigent defense to parole.

JUSTICE CENTER IN THE NEWS

Justice Reinvestment Hopes to Curb Incarceration Costs in ND

Drugs are a problem in North Dakota, just as they are across the rest country. Many who get trapped in a cycle of addiction don’t get the help they need when they’re sent to jail. Now, lawmakers and other officials are trying to tackle that problem.

ND Jail System Under Pressure with Rising Numbers of Low-Level Felony Offenders

North Dakota is increasingly filling its prisons and jails with low-level felony offenders who may be better served by probation and treatment, and drug offenses are the main driver, officials heard Wednesday from researchers helping the state identify ways to reduce spending on corrections and prevent repeat offenses.

A Summit on the Mentally Ill in U.S. Jails

Amid growing recognition that large numbers of U.S. jail inmates suffer from mental health problems, three major organizations have gathered teams from 50 places in Washington, D.C., to plan a detailed attack on the problem.

Analysis: State Spends $8M Jailing People on Motor Vehicle Charges

Massachusetts could be spending as much as $8 million a year incarcerating people on misdemeanor motor-vehicle charges, according to a Council on State Governments analysis.

The analysis by the CSG’s Justice Center found that motor-vehicle and property offenses accounted for 47 percent of all sentences to county houses of corrections in 2013, the most recent year for which figures were available.

Working Group Aims to Reform R.I. Probation System

The work of the Rhode Island Justice Reinvestment Working Group, assembled by Gov. Gina Raimondo to improve the state’s criminal justice system, seems poised to come to fruition as the anniversary of its July 2015 inception draws nearer. According to the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s website, the group was created to reform the Rhode Island probation system.

Justice-system review focused on stopping ‘revolving door’

The Lowell Sun By Katie Lannan BOSTON — People who had been convicted of prior offenses accounted for nearly three quarters of new convictions in Massachusetts in a single year, according to a data analysis presented Tuesday to a working […]