COVID-19 Assistance for the Justice Community
The ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires policymakers and criminal justice practitioners to rapidly adapt their day-to-day operations to the situation at hand. While the pace and scale of the crisis can be overwhelming, the CSG Justice Center is committed more than ever to supporting its members—state and local officials working in all three branches of government in criminal and juvenile justice, behavioral health, housing, and labor.
In partnership with Wisconsin state leaders, the CSG Justice Center is working on several key criminal justice initiatives to increase public safety, including Stepping Up and Justice Reinvestment.
Justice Reinvestment in Wisconsin
In 2008, the CSG Justice Center embarked on a Justice Reinvestment approach in Wisconsin to help state leaders identify and address the most pressing criminal justice system challenges.
In 2008, Wisconsin’s prison population was expected to rise 25 percent over the coming decade, at a cost of $2.5 billion in new prison construction and operating expenses. More than half of the people in state prison were there because they had failed to comply with the conditions of their supervision or because they had committed a new crime while under supervision. In 2008 and 2009, the CSG Justice Center worked with Wisconsin state leaders to analyze criminal justice data, interview stakeholders from across the criminal justice system, and develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. A policy framework was developed to address these challenges. Several justice reinvestment policies were adopted by the legislature in 2009 through the state’s budget appropriations bill, which creates a “risk reduction” sentencing option to encourage individuals to complete programs in prison that are designed to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and reinvests $10 million over two years to expand community-based recidivism reduction programs including substance use treatment, employment services, and access to mental health care.
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