Gov. Asa Hutchinson called Monday for more “teeth” in the state’s criminal sentencing guidelines and corrective action to reduce disparity in jail time ordered for the same crime.
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.
State leaders heard from a national coalition on ways to decrease the states’ growing prison population. The Council of State Governments Justice Center told a Criminal Justice Task Force that Arkansas has one of the fastest growing prison population rates in the nation.
The state of Arkansas will be working with The Council of State Governments Justice Center to try to reverse the growth of the nation’s fastest rising prison population from 2012-14. Andy Barbee, research manager, told the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force his organization will make Arkansas the 23rd state it has served through its Justice Reinvestment project. After studying criminal justice data, the CSG Justice Center will report its recommendations to the task force in late summer or early fall next year.
Andy Barbee, research manager for The Council of State Governments Justice Center, told the panel that according to projections, Arkansas’ prison population could reach 25,448, a 35 percent increase, by 2025.
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.
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.
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.
The Justice Reinvestment in Rhode Island Overview highlights recent criminal justice trends in Rhode Island that the working group will be exploring in coming months as part of the state’s justice reinvestment effort.
Faced with a prison system at 159 percent of capacity and expected to grow to 170 percent of capacity by FY2020, state leaders in Nebraska pursued justice reinvestment. After extensive analyses identified key challenges in the state’s criminal justice system, policymakers developed a policy framework designed to reduce prison overcrowding and expand the use of probation and parole supervision.