Back to top

Corrections reform

This issue brief is an excellent overview of how voters in the United States feel about juvenile offenders. It expertly uses infographics to make the information easy to understand and distribute. Topics explained are: voters prioritize services and supervision over incarceration for juvenile offenders; voters say juvenile offenders should be treated differently than adult offenders; voters care less about whether or how long juvenile offenders are incarcerated than about preventing crime; voters are sensitive to the costs of the juvenile justice system; voters want a strong return on their investments in juvenile correctional facilities; voters support reducing the number and time served of low-level juvenile offenders sent to corrections facilities and using savings to improve probation; voters say that nonviolent juvenile offenders should not be in corrections facilities for more than six months; voters say juvenile corrections facilities should be used only for felony-level offenders; voters say status offenders and technical violators should not go to corrections facilities; voters support reinvesting savings from reduced juvenile facility populations into county programs that contribute to state-level savings; 90% of voters want families, schools, and social service agencies to take more responsibility for youth who commit low-level offenses; and most voters say families, schools, and social service agencies should handle low-level offenses and the justice system should be involved only with more serious offenses. "Support for juvenile justice reform is strong across political parties, regions, and age, gender, and racial-ethnic groups" (p. 1).

Public Opinion on Juvenile Justice in America Cover

In these records you will find the most recent and the most authoritative articles on the topics, people and events that are shaping the criminal justice conversation.

This report will explore the process states took to raise their age of juvenile jurisdiction, and show how acts of legislation were part of a process to make the juvenile justice system more effective, fairer, and focused on keeping youth safe as they transition to adulthood (p. 14).

This report looks at reforms made by states to keep children out of the adult criminal justice system.

"In 2013, 35 states passed at least 85 bills to change some aspect of how their criminal justice systems address sentencing and corrections. In reviewing this legislative activity, the Vera Institute of Justice found that policy changes have focused mainly on the following five areas: reducing prison populations and costs; expanding or strengthening community-based corrections; implementing risk and needs assessments; supporting offender reentry into the community; and making better informed criminal justice policy through data-driven research and analysis. By providing concise summaries of representative legislation in each area, this report aims to be a practical guide for policymakers in other states and the federal government looking to enact similar changes in criminal justice policy" (p. 4). Sections of this report include: about this report; introduction; reducing prison populations and costs; expanding or strengthening community corrections; implementing risk and needs assessments; supporting the reentry of offenders into the community; making better informed criminal justice policy; and conclusion. Two appendixes provide information about: sentencing and corrections legislation by state, 2013; and sentencing and corrections by reform type, 2013.

Recalibrating Justice: A Review of 2013 State Sentencing and Corrections Trends Cover

“The program interviews Dr. Nancy G. La Vigne Director, Justice Policy Center, The Urban Institute regarding Justice Reinvestment. With state and local governments grappling with growing corrections costs and budget shortfalls, they are asking how they can reduce costs and get a better return on criminal justice investments while maintaining public safety. One answer is Justice Reinvestment, a collaborative, data-driven approach to criminal justice planning that yields savings that can be invested in evidence-based, prevention-oriented activities. Dr. La Vigne describes this complex but compelling model highlighting the experiences of 17 states and 16 localities.”

Reinventing the Criminal Justice System Cover

"For millions of Americans, the legal and life-restricting consequences of a criminal conviction continue even after they’ve repaid their debt to society as barriers to voting, housing, jobs, education, and a raft of social services limit their ability to provide for their families and successfully reenter society. In recognition of the damaging effects these collateral consequences can have, 41 states have enacted legislation since 2009 that allows certain individuals to move beyond their convictions. This report reviews that legislative activity, discusses the limitations of current approaches, and offers recommendations to states and localities considering similar reforms." Sections of this report include: introduction; background; new approaches to collateral consequences—expungement and sealing remedies, certificated of recovery, offense downgrades, building relief into the criminal justice process, ameliorating employment-related collateral consequences, access to information, and addressing discrete collateral consequences (i.e., housing, immigration, health care, family issues, financial health, education, public assistance, enfranchisement, sex offender registries, and driving privileges); limitations of reform; recommendations; and conclusion. Appendixes provide these tables: Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by Year, 2009-2014; Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by State, 2009-2014; Discrete Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation, 2009-2014; and Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by Reform Type, 2009-2014. This website provides access to the full report, summary, and related infographic.

Relief in Sight? States Rethink the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction, 2009-2014 Cover

An overview is presented of findings (as of July 2011) regarding “a comprehensive list of programs and policies that improve … outcomes for children and adults in Washington and result in more cost-efficient use of public resources” (p. 1). Sections comprising this report are: summary; background; the four-step research approach that assesses what works, calculates costs and benefits and ranks options, measures the risks associated with the analysis, and estimates the impact of various option combinations on statewide outcomes. Also included are two Technical Appendixes that provide in-depth results.

Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes--July 2011 Update cover

This report summarizes psychological and neuroscientific evidence from 26 peer-reviewed studies.

These presentation slides show the efficacy of using quick dips, 2-3 day confinement in jail, a swift and certain response to non-compliance, for those probationers who violate probation conditions for the first time. Topics discussed include: quick dips overview; analytical framework; sample; matching—variables likely to predict non-compliance or selection for a quick dip; propensity score matching (PSM); intermediate outcomes; supervision outcomes; and conclusions. "Offenders that received a quick dip [77.2%] had greater supervision compliance than offenders in the comparison group [45.9%]."

Short-Term Jail Confinement Cover


Subscribe to Corrections reform