Idaho lawmakers were challenged by Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick today to consider whether they want to continue the state’s policy of having at least one magistrate judge in each county that wants one, even as the population continues to concentrate in Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Bonneville, Bannock and Twin Falls counties; the policy’s been in place since 1969.
Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism.
States receiving technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center
Other states that have pursued a justice reinvestment approach with technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts or the Vera Institute of Justice include: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. For a complete, listing visit BJA’s justice reinvestment website.
Last session, the justice reinvestment legislation didn’t have bicameral support at the State House; the full Senate resoundingly passed the bills while the House of Representatives didn’t vote on the bills. While it’s still unclear what the House will do this session, the six bills that were born out of a task force appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo, will at least have some level of bipartisan support.
Proposed cuts to the state’s courts and probation system aren’t prudent and would halt progress made by changes meant to improve public safety, the chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court told lawmakers Tuesday.
The proposal includes limiting the amount of time parole and probation violators spend locked up and where they go. The law also would make judges who divert from sentencing guidelines more subject to appeals in which they have to explain their reasoning.
David Safavian, deputy director of the American Conservative Union’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform, emphasized the destructive role prison time plays on family stability. Even upon release from prison, he said, a person convicted of a felony is 50 percent less likely to get a job interview and will earn 10 to 40 percent less money.
Four years after enacting justice reinvestment legislation, Pennsylvania can point to significant improvements in its criminal justice system. The state has reduced inefficiencies in its parole and corrections systems; developed responses to major parole violations that include short periods of incarceration followed by supervision and treatment, as necessary; and made changes to state-funded community corrections programs.
Leading a statewide effort to reform criminal justice policies can be daunting because the stakes are high for everyone involved. That is why many state leaders turn to a data-driven justice reinvestment approach to identify the drivers of rising corrections costs and develop state-specific solutions that reduce corrections spending and reinvest a portion of those savings into strategies that can reduce recidivism.
Recently, the FBI released its annual report on crime, which included distressing news: violent crime—while still at levels far below what it was 20 years ago—increased between 2014 and 2015. Whenever elected officials see anything indicating their constituents are less safe, they are understandably and appropriately anxious.
The final report of the CSG Justice Center outlines a comprehensive series of policy recommendations developed in collaboration with the Montana Commission on Sentencing.
The seventh working group presentation focuses on a review of data analyses and potential policy options.
The sixth working group presentation details additional analyses on race, including existing data considerations and limitations and key areas of interest that were identified during the justice reinvestment project.