The Justice Reinvestment Policy Framework presented to the Incarceration Issues Committee offers four pragmatic policy options that are projected to reduce the forecasted prison population in 2022 by 13 percent, avoiding $36.3 million in contract prison bed costs.
Over the past decade, North Dakota has experienced increases in reported crimes and arrests; jail and prison populations; and probation and parole populations. State and county governments have spent tens of millions of dollars expanding existing correctional facilities and building new ones to accommodate these increases. The North Dakota Department of Correction and Rehabilitation projects that its prison population will climb 75 percent by 2025 unless action is taken to curb growth.
To help address these issues, in October 2015 North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider, House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad, and Legislative Management Chairman Raymond Holmberg requested support in exploring a “justice reinvestment” approach to reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies that can reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Under the direction of the 16-member Incarceration Issues Committee—which includes representatives from the three branches of state government along with state and local criminal justice system stakeholders—The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center will conduct a comprehensive analysis of extensive data sets collected from various state agencies to provide a broad picture of criminal justice trends in North Dakota.
Based on the findings from these quantitative and qualitative analyses, this committee will develop policy options for the 2017 legislature’s consideration that will address North Dakota’s key criminal justice challenges.
The treatment and programming presentation to the Incarceration Issues Committee focuses on policy options designed to improve North Dakota’s behavioral health treatment.
The fourth presentation to the Incarceration Issues Committee focuses on policy options designed to support victims of crime, to avert growth in the prison population and corrections costs, and to reduce recidivism by strengthening community supervision.