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Helen Ho

"Racial and ethnic disparity is pervasive in the American criminal justice system. This is particularly stark for blacks, who despite constituting just 13 percent of the US population, account for 30 percent of adult probationers, 37 percent of jail inmates, 38 percent of prisoners, and 40 percent of parolees. Such disparities have broad consequences, from impacts on the health and functioning of minority communities to perceptions of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. There are more probationers than parolees, prisoners, and jail inmates combined. Probation practice and outcomes thus affect the lives of more adults than any other criminal justice sanction. Further, probation supervision represents an important fork in the road for justice-involved individuals, with failure on probation setting a path for more severe sanctioning, particularly incarceration. Disparities in probation revocations could then contribute to disparities in incarceration. Yet, few studies examine racial and ethnic disparities at this decision point. This brief discusses Urban’s study examining the degree of disparity in probation revocation outcomes and the drivers of that disparity" (p. 1). Sections include: key findings—revocation rates for Black probationers are the greatest with risk assessment scores and criminal history being major factors in revocation; findings regarding probation stakeholder perceptions of bias in the criminal justice system, higher revocation rates for Black probationers, disparity observed when controlling for nonracial and non-ethical characteristics, and contributors to disparity; discussion and policy implications; and ten policy recommendations such as committing to monitor disparity, investing in cultural competency training (CCT), utilizing alternatives to revocation, and reexamining risk assessments and their impact on decisionmaking.

Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Probation Revocation Cover

“States across the country are increasingly seeking cost-effective and evidence-based strategies to enhance public safety and manage their corrections and supervision populations. One such effort emerged in the mid-2000s, when several states experimented with a criminal justice reform effort built on a foundation of bipartisan collaboration and data-driven policy development. This model—justice reinvest-ment—yielded promising results, supporting cost-effective, evidence-based policies projected to generate meaningful savings for states while maintaining a focus on public safety. In response to these early successes, Congress appropriated funds to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to launch the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) in 2010 in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew). The initiative formalized the process and provided both financial support and in-kind technical assistance for states to engage in this work. This report describes the JRI model and the experiences and interim outcomes in 17 participating JRI states: Arkansas, Delaware, Geor¬gia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Caro¬lina, South Dakota, and West Virginia” (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; the JRI Model described; population and cost drivers and responses; projected and preliminary outcomes; reinvestment; challenges; and concluding remarks and implications. The appendix provides case studies of the 17 participating states.

Justice Reinvestment Initiative State Assessment Report Cover

The aim of this report is to present the findings of an evaluation of an initiative to improve the outcomes of justice-involved individuals with severe mental illnesses in the Greater Cincinnati area. It is divided into five parts: introduction—importance of the Initiative, substance use disorder and severe mental illness in the criminal justice system, and the Urban Society study; grantee interviews; grantee outcomes; lessons learned for criminal justice and behavioral health practitioners, for criminal justice practitioners, for policymakers, public administrators, and other decisionmakers, for researchers, and for funders; and conclusions. “Overall, the Health Foundation can point to an array of positive outcomes associated with the Initiative. As evidenced in the lit¬erature, the Initiative was focused squarely on an under- and unserved population and can point to several benefits of program participation for this population. Further, the Initiative has generated lessons for future behavioral health and criminal justice programming as well as the different system stakeholders who have the ability to foster such programming” (p. 22).

Lessons Learned through The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati's Substance Use Disorder and Severe Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System Initiative Cover

“This brief summarizes the efforts of states involved in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a program designed to identify and implement cost-efficient, evidence-based criminal justice reforms. To do so, jurisdictions use data analysis to identify criminal justice population and cost drivers and then develop policy options to reduce those drivers.” Correctional population and cost drivers include: parole and probation revocations; sentencing policies and practices; insufficient and ineffective community supervision and support; and parole system processing delays and denials. Strategies for reducing the costs related to these challenges include: risk and needs assessment; expansion or improvement of problem-solving courts; intermediate and graduated sanctions; increased use of evidence-based practices; expanded incentives, such as good time and earned credits; penalty changes; streamlines parole processes and expanded parole eligibility; expansion and increase in community-based treatment programs; mandatory supervision requirements; and accountability measures. The principle ways cost savings, resulting from improved justice systems, are reinvested are: reinvestment of tangible savings—funding based on the amount of costs that have been saved; up-front reinvestment--funding based on projected future savings; and reallocation—funding based on redirecting existing monies.

he Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Experiences from the States Cover
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