Idaho’s Justice Reinvestment Approach

September 2014 | The Council of State Governments Justice Center

Faced with one of the fastest-growing state prison populations in the nation, Idaho leaders pursued justice reinvestment. After extensive analyses identified key challenges in the state’s criminal justice system, policymakers developed a policy framework designed to strengthen probation and parole, structure parole decision making, and measure recidivism-reduction efforts. Justice reinvestment legislation was enacted in March 2014 and the state was projected to save a range from 1,046 to 1,395 prison beds between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, saving between $221 million and $288 million.

In March 2015, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Correction and the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole, reviewed an improved set of data that resulted in a revision to these projections. The revised impact models estimate the total prison bed savings between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 to range from 685 to 783 beds, while the policy package as a whole anticipates $134 million to $157 million in savings.

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