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North Dakota Launches Justice Reinvestment Initiative

State leaders from both political parties and all three branches of government gathered today to launch a comprehensive review of North Dakota’s criminal justice system with the goal of addressing the growing pressures on the state’s criminal justice system and averting costly future expansions of its correctional facilities.

50 State Teams Gather to Develop Plans for Improving Youth Outcomes in Each State Juvenile Justice System

On the heels of new data showing massive reductions in the number of youth incarcerated, legislators, judges, juvenile justice administrators and other representatives from all 50 states will meet Monday to tackle the next big challenge: making sure supervision and services provided in the correctional facilities and in the community reduce the likelihood youth will be rearrested and end up in the adult criminal justice system.

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Signs Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Bill

LINCOLN, Neb.—Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday signed into law a significant overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system designed to halt prison population growth, support victims of crime, and improve public safety by enhancing the supervision of people released from […]

Justice Center in the News

New CSG Data Provide Important Insights on Young Adult Justice

The Council of State Governments Justice reinvestment team convened the working group for a third meeting this week. Their presentation focused on recidivism with particular attention to pretrial decision-making, incarcerated populations, and programming within HOC institutions. The CSG also provided an addendum with additional slides.

Keystone Criminal Justice

Pennsylvania’s incarceration rate climbed 20 percent between 2004 and 2014, with the total correctional population, which includes both state prisons and county jails, jumping by 17 percent. By comparison, neighboring states New York and New Jersey saw their incarceration rates drop by 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in that time.

Officials Eye Data Tool to Gauge Pretrial Detainee Risks

After reviewing data on pretrial detainees held in three county jails, members of a state criminal justice working group said they could see benefits to adopting a data-based pretrial risk assessment tool, although barriers exist to doing so in Massachusetts.

Nevada Receiving Assistance in State’s Juvenile Justice Review

Nevada beat out 17 other states to receive technical help from The Council of State Governments Justice Center, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization which will be conducting the review. Right now, juvenile arrests are down statewide and youth incarceration is at its lowest point in 10 years. But the real issue, according to Governor Brian Sandoval, is making sure millions of dollars in state funding are being used most effectively.

West Virginia Pushes Spending in Corrections Rather Than Prisons

The U.S. Department of Education released a report last week that shows all states have accelerated their spending on prisons more than they have on public education. And West Virginia is one state that has come close to leading the nation in its push to pour more money into corrections.

To Save on Prison Costs, Idaho Seeks to Change How Inmates Think

Idaho Department of Corrections rolled out its revamped rider program at four Idaho prisons this spring. The program now requires more in-class practice for new learned skills. It requires role playing for situations that could put inmates at risk to commit new crimes. It’s a military-like regimen. Inmates say changing their criminal and addictive thinking is difficult work.

Is Change Coming in the Cash Bail System?

Earlier this year, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed one of the country’s most sweeping bail reforms. Included in a package of legislation billed as “Second Chance 2.0” was a provision that would eliminate bail for misdemeanor offenses, thereby freeing hundreds of inmates awaiting trial in detention because they could not afford bail.

Adding Prisons Will Not Set Montana Free

The Council of State Governments Justice Center recently completed a study of the Montana penal system and developed a set of recommendations for reducing the state’s prison population. They include expansion of deferred prosecution programs and drug courts that emphasize treatment over incarceration. A driving force behind the state’s surging prison population are drug arrests, which exploded by 62 percent between 2009 and 2015.