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This publication offers a large range of strategies for individuals wanting to reform their juvenile justice system. “The various reform strategies may be conceptualized as relying on three distinct but interrelated mechanisms: resolution, reinvestment, and realignment (Butts and Evans 2011). Resolution refers to the use of managerial authority and administrative directives to influence system change; reinvestment entails the use of financial incentives to encourage system change; and realignment employs organizational and structural modifications to create new systems. This report describes the history and implementation of the most well-known reform initiatives that draw upon one or more of these mechanisms to achieve system change and it considers their impact on juvenile confinement at the state and local level” (p. 1). Sections of this report include: summary; introduction; resolution models in MA, UT, MO, and AR; reinvestment models in CA (subsidy), PA, WI, OH, CA (sliding scale), NC, Deschutes County (OR), IL, FL, and TX; realignment models in Wayne County (MI), CA, TX, and NY; and conclusion.

Pioneers of Youth Justice Reform: Achieving System Change Using Resolution, Reinvestment, and Realignment Strategies Cover

"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

This issue brief provides an excellent look at issues surrounding correctional expenditures and cost-cutting reforms at the state level. Sections cover: an overview of the rise of state spending on corrections; the prison population and incarceration costs; state corrections spending trends; and criminal justice policy reforms. “Despite the demonstrated successes of criminal justice reforms, cost savings have yet to produce an overall decline in corrections spending. However, the policy reforms are improving the way states spend money for corrections, and the outcomes show better results for individuals and citizens. Over time, the cost savings from smart, criminal justice polices may lead to correctional spending declines, an outcome that would benefit all of state government” (p. 5).

State Spending for Corrections: Long-Term Trends and Recent Criminal Justice Policy Reforms Cover

"Crime and high rates of incarceration impose tremendous costs on society, with lasting negative effects on individuals, families, and communities. Rates of crime in the United States have been falling steadily, but still constitute a serious economic and social challenge. At the same time, the incarceration rate in the United States is so high—more than 700 out of every 100,000 people are incarcerated—that both crime scholars and policymakers alike question whether, for nonviolent criminals in particular, the social costs of incarceration exceed the social benefits … Despite the ongoing decline in crime, the incarceration rate in the United States remains at a historically unprecedented level. This high incarceration rate can have profound effects on society" and is extremely expensive for state and federal agencies (p. 1). This policy memo provides a clear and concise explanation of the impacts of incarceration on communities in the United States. The ten facts are organized into three chapters: the landscape of crime in the U.S.—offenders and victims; the extraordinary growth of mass incarceration in the U.S.; and the economic and social costs of crime and incarceration. Some of these facts include: the majority of criminal offenders are younger than age thirty; federal and state policies have driven up the incarceration rate over the past thirty years; and per capita expenditures on corrections more than tripled over the same time period.

Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States 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

This is a great set of charts showing various correctional trends. Charts show: U.S. state and federal prisons population, 1925-2012; international rates of incarceration, 2011; federal and state prison population by offense, 2011; state expenditures on corrections, 1985-2010; population under control of the U.S. corrections system, 1980 and 2010; number of people in prisons and jails for drug offenses, 1980 and 2011; number of people in federal prisons for drug offenses, 1980-2010; number of women in state and federal prisons, 1980-2012; highest and lowest state incarceration rates (per 100,000) by women, overall, and men, 2012; rate of incarceration by gender, race and ethnicity, 2011; people in state and federal prisons by race and ethnicity, 2011; lifetime likelihood of imprisonment by all men, white men, black men, Latino men, all women, white women, black women, and Latina women; number of people serving life without parole sentences, 1992-2012; number of people serving life sentences, 1984-2012; and the number of juveniles held in adult prisons and jails, 1985-2010.

Trends in U.S. Corrections Cover

This publication presents graphics regarding: the number of incarcerated youth from 1975-2010; disparities in confinement by race from 1997 to 2010; of those youth incarcerated, only 25% of them are committed due to violent offenses; the decline of juvenile incarceration rates by state; and recommendations for continuing with de-incarceration of youth.

Youth Incarceration in the United States Infographic Cover

Now in its 14th edition, an updated online version of the Corrections Environment Scan is presented here. Renamed the Corrections Environmental Scan in 2017, it continues to evolve into a popular tool that corrections practitioners use to inform their work in jails, prisons, and community supervision.

The report is arranged into five topics: Population Demographics, Economy, Workforce, Technology, and Statistics, with the special highlighted topic: Justice Involved Women. The Corrections Environmental Scan is intended to give a broad overview of the latest news and trends in these topics, from the corrections, domestic, and global perspectives.

Now in its thirteenth edition, an updated online version of the Corrections Environment Scan is presented for the first time. Renamed the Corrections Environmental Scan in 2017, it continues to evolve into a popular tool that corrections practitioners use to inform their work in jails, prisons, and community supervision.

The report is arranged into five topics: Population Demographics, Economy, Workforce, Technology, and Statistics, with the special highlighted topic: Criminal Justice Reform. The Corrections Environmental Scan is intended to give a broad overview of the latest news and trends in these topics, from the corrections, domestic and global perspective.

A screenshot of the Corrections Environmental Scan Website

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