North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania were awarded $5.2 million as part of the 2015 Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Maximizing State Reform grant, which is given to states that have used the justice reinvestment approach to help further criminal justice reform efforts. This is only the second year that this grant has been awarded.
Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and to reinvest those savings in strategies that can reduce recidivism and increase public safety.
The three states were chosen from a competitive pool of former justice reinvestment states bidding to be awarded the grant money.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety was awarded $1,750,000 for its “Pathway to Successful Reentry” project which prepares high-risk individuals for transition into their communities under post-release supervision. This grant will increase the program staff’s capacity to utilize evidence-based strategies, as well as integrate a Risk-Need-Responsivity Tool into the inmate classification process.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was awarded $1,746,200 to provide a comprehensive approach to prison diversion through enhanced offender screenings and its Intermediate Revocation Facilities program.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency was awarded $1,749,982 to pilot its “Pretrial Diversion of Drug and Alcohol-Dependent Offenders” project. The initiative’s goal is to decrease corrections costs and lower the recidivism rate, while increasing access to drug and alcohol treatment.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center has worked with 21 states including North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania to implement this approach by identifying the driver of rising costs as well as developing practical, evidence-based solutions.
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