By Adam Gelb
The Executive Session on Community Corrections has released a new paper entitled You Get What You Measure: New Performance Indicators Needed to Gauge Progress of Criminal Justice Reform.
Jurisdictions across the U.S. are engaging in efforts to reform sentencing and corrections policies, with an aim of shrinking the footprint of the criminal justice system. As these reforms unfold, the makeup of correctional populations is shifting, both for facilities and for probation and parole agencies.
This new paper, authored by Adam Gelb, calls for the development of new indices that provide an overall picture of the risk profile of people in prison and under community corrections supervision.
These measures will help policymakers and the public understand whether criminal justice reforms are working as intended, specifically whether prisons increasingly hold people who have been convicted of serious, violent offenses and have extensive criminal histories and whether reentry and related policies and programs are reducing recidivism.