Course Corrections

Policy Options for Burdened Budgets

State budgets are facing significant shortfalls as a result of COVID-19, a trend that could continue for the next three years and result in the largest state budget cuts in the last 20 years. In these unprecedented times, state legislators and criminal justice leaders will be tasked with fortifying public safety while saving precious taxpayer dollars.

Course Corrections is an initiative that aims to provide states with impactful data, tools, and policy options to immediately navigate fiscal and systemic challenges and enable criminal justice leaders to safeguard the gains they’ve made in enhancing public safety and reducing recidivism.

Ways We Help States

1. Bolster needed health, housing, and other services for people who are released from incarceration and on community supervision.

2. Reduce probation and parole revocations safely.

3. Lower correctional costs driven by prison and jail population growth.

Resources We Offer

A 50-state online tool to estimate the impact of revocations on state budgets and populations
  • Interactive tool that will allow users to enter data regarding revocation rates and prison populations to generate impact estimates associated with potential changes
  • Developed in partnership with Recidiviz, a nonprofit specializing in criminal justice data analysis
  • Free and publicly available at csgjusticecenter.org
Intensive policy analysis and expertise to help 10 select states develop and enact policy change

This assistance includes:

  • Analyzing data to understand current criminal justice-related trends across state systems
  • Developing new, effective policy options and projecting their impact on budgets
  • Increasing collaboration on reentry services across various state agencies
  • Building support for policy options among legislators
  • Providing on-demand implementation assistance
Communications assistance for states broadly and intensively

This assistance includes:

  • Overall strategies to message the risk of recidivism increases amid a recession and budget cuts
  • Information for state leaders on proven research and successful policies enacted in other states
  • Intensive communications plans for the 10 selected states, including assistance with drafting materials to hone messaging, address criticism, and amplify action

Get Assistance

Course Corrections is a joint partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center, the Correctional Leaders Association, Arnold Ventures, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. To learn more on how your state can get assistance, contact:

Ellen Whelan-Wuest, Program Director, CSG Justice Center, ewhelan-wuest@csg.org

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