“Kids don’t belong in prison. We know from the data that when children are incarcerated they usually become repeat offenders,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This data-driven review will help us provide youths the best chance to successfully transition to a crime-free, productive adulthood.”
Senators in April took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs for FY2019—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the state and local level.
As a continuation of the 50-State Summit on Public Safety held in November 2017 in Washington, DC, multiple states have been selected by the U.S Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to host individual state forums on public safety. Earlier this month, Vermont and Ohio became the first states to hold their forums, each of which was facilitated by staff from the CSG Justice Center.
The initiative—sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and The CSG Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime—will launch with a wave of public activities featuring both Republican and Democratic governors and other elected officials meeting with people impacted by the correctional system in their respective states.
For years, Idaho Department of Correction leaders believed they were running a top-notch corrections program. But an evaluation of their programming upended that notion and compelled then Director Kevin Kempf to make some tough choices to bring about change.
“I’ve been in and out of jail for the last 20 years, and this [group] taught me it was time to grow up and stop doing the things I was doing,” Rich said. “Having people who care about how you’re doing and who can lift your spirits is important.”
In most states across America, education for teen offenders pales in comparison to what they’d receive on the outside. Just one third mandate that these kids meet the same standards as their public school counterparts. Massachusetts is one of them, and there the goal is to save these young offenders with vocational classes and good old reading, writing and arithmetic.
Michael Thompson, director of the CSG Justice Center, examines the results of a recent evaluation of a federal reentry program and asks: What happens when a program or policy championed by data loyalists doesn’t yield the positive results they’d hoped for?
In this episode of The Diane Rehm Show, Dr. Fred Osher, director of health systems and services policy at the CSG Justice Center, joins the discussion on efforts to help people with mental illnesses stay out of jail and get into treatment.