Leaders from both parties joined Governor Steve Bullock on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to launch a comprehensive examination of Montana’s criminal justice system as the state faces a growing prison population and costly projections to expand capacity.
In 2012, West Virginia’s governor and legislative leaders faced some dire challenges. The state had the highest drug overdose death rate in the country, funding for treatment in the community was scarce, everyone from prosecutors to judges was clamoring for more treatment for people with substance use issues who were going through the courts, and supervision failures often stemming from substance use were fueling growth in the prison population, which was rising faster than nearly every other state in the nation.
When Kevin Kempf became director of the Idaho Department of Correction in December 2014, he knew he needed to take a hard look at the nearly $10 million the department spends annually on programs to reduce recidivism among the 22,000 people in prison or on probation and parole supervision.
Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s backing of legislation to provide greater sentencing flexibility for certain low-level drug offenders, President Barack Obama advocated for a fairer and more effective criminal justice system guided by data and evidence-based approaches.
On the heels of new data showing massive reductions in the number of youth incarcerated, representatives from all 50 states met Monday, Nov. 9, to tackle the next big challenge: making sure supervision and services provided in the community reduce the likelihood youth will be rearrested and end up in the adult criminal justice system.
The report, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” reveals that despite spending between $100,000 and $300,000 per incarcerated child in secure facilities, only 13 states provide all incarcerated youth with access to the same types of educational services that students have in the community. Meanwhile, only nine states offer community-equivalent vocational services to all kids in lock-up.
This webinar will review a best practices statement developed by the National Task Force on the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women under Correctional Custody. The webinar will outline the core principles and recommendations made in the statement, and also provides an update on the current status of laws, policies, and practices to assure that pregnant women are not restrained.
The Urban Institute, in partnership with Manatt Health is now accepting applications from state and local jurisdictions interested in serving as learning partners for the Connecting Criminal Justice to Health Care (CCJH) Initiative. This initiative is an action-oriented, practical project at the intersection of broad national debates about mass incarceration, the opiate epidemic, and the crisis in America’s mental health system.
This webinar will share highlights from a first-of-its kind report, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” on the accessibility and accountability of educational and vocational services for incarcerated youth.
This webinar is for the FY2015 Second Chance Act grantees focused on adult offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.
During this webinar, FY2015 Smart Supervision Grantees receive information about the grant program including expectations around and available support for grant activities, as well as evaluation requirements.
During this webinar, FY2015 Technology-Based Career Training Grantees received information about the grant program, including steps for getting the program started, submission of the Planning and Implementation Guide, and Bureau of Justice Assistance expectations.
During this webinar BJA staff provide an overview of the Second Chance Act, requirements of the adult demonstration program grant, and grant management, and NRRC staff provide an overview of training, technical assistance, research, tools, and the Planning & Implementation (P&I) Guide.
This webinar discusses these challenges and reviews innovative strategies and approaches to measuring the outcomes of family-focused programming in reentry.
The Justice Reinvestment in Montana Overview highlights recent criminal justice trends in Montana that the Montana Commission on Sentencing and the CSG Justice Center staff will be exploring in coming months as part of the state’s justice reinvestment efforts.
This brief is designed to help state and local officials better support young adults in the justice system. It identifies these young adults’ distinct needs, summaries the limited research available on what works to address these needs, and provides recommendations for steps that policymakers, juvenile and adult criminal justice agency leaders, researchers, and the field can take to improve outcomes.
This infographics series detail three critical challenges faced by states to improve outcomes for youth, identify the key questions that policymakers should ask, and offer strategies for protecting public safety and using resources more efficiently.
To understand the extent to which states provide incarcerated youth with access to educational and vocational services; track and use student outcome data, and support school reenrollment for these youth, the CSG Justice Center and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states.
The third working group presentation focuses on the state’s probation system, analyzing stakeholder perspectives, probation outcomes, sentencing trends, supervision practices, and probation statutes and case law.
JUSTICE CENTER IN THE NEWS
If you steal a $400 iPhone in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Rhode Island, you’re guilty of petty theft, a misdemeanor punishable by not more than one year in jail. But if you steal that same iPhone in Massachusetts, you’re guilty of grand larceny — a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. Why is Massachusetts so much stricter? It is because our lawmakers haven’t gotten around to updating the felony theft threshold since 1987, when the Legislature raised it from $100 to $250.
As US lawmakers grapple with reform to mass incarceration, they are also facing the challenge of improving the integration of former inmates, whose records become a barrier to entry in housing and employment, and who are often unprepared for the challenge of transitioning to life outside of prison.
While activists and some lawmakers are advocating for criminal justice reforms aimed in part at reducing the number of people incarcerated, seven of the state’s district attorneys pushed back on Wednesday with a call to shift the focus.
“Despite our state’s falling crime rates, Montana’s prison population continues to grow and our correctional facilities are over capacity,” Gov. Steve Bullock said during a press event to launch the Justice Reinvestment Initiative led by the Commission on Sentencing. “If we continue on the path we’re on now, we will be faced with a prison population that continues to increase along with increased state spending.”
“A thorough examination of our criminal justice system is long overdue,” Gov. Steve Bullock said Wednesday. “We must determine what is driving the growth in our prison population. We’re at a pivotal moment as our prison population nears capacity, and we must take a proactive and collaborative approach to establishing a more effective system that bolsters public safety.”
“An assessment of our programs found that in nine out of 12 of our programs—including our sex offender program, substance abuse program and cognitive behavior program—they did not have a sufficient amount of evidence that they work,” said Kevin Kempf, director of the Idaho Department of Correction.