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September 24, 2012

New report from Vera Institute reviews recent changes to prison populations and expenses

Late last week I received this e-mail informing me of a notable new publication that should interest all sentencing fans:

The fiscal crisis of the past several years has put the nation’s reliance on prisons under intense scrutiny. To reduce costs and improve public safety, states have begun to enact policies based on the large body of research showing that many offenders can be effectively handled within the community using evidence-based practices.

A new report from Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, in partnership with the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, examines whether, in light of recent state-level policy changes and ongoing budget deficits, the expected shifts in population and spending from prisons to community corrections between 2006 and 2010 have been realized. The findings of Realigning Justice Resources: A Review of Population and Spending Shifts in Prison and Community Corrections are based on survey responses from 36 state prison agencies and 35 community corrections agencies; follow-up interviews with 24 states; a review of recent sentencing and corrections legislation; and an analysis of population counts from the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Although Vera’s study demonstrates that there is not always a discernible relationship between population and spending shifts from one part of the system to another, several states — such as, Michigan, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Virginia — have successfully implemented policies that curb both prison populations and spending.  The authors suggest that economic, political, and structural factors both within and outside the control of policymakers may have stymied many states’ ambitions.  More time and research may be needed to observe the true impact of policy changes on correctional populations and spending.

The full 36-page report is available for download here, and a summary fact sheet can be foud here.

September 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM | Permalink


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123D. No cost. No crime. No criminals. Only the lawyer stands in the way of ending crime. Why does the lawyer protect and empower the violent repeat offender? Because the violent repeat offender generates massive government make work jobs. None may even verbally criticize such without risking losing one's job for verbal abuse.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 25, 2012 6:55:40 AM

These internal enemies of crime victims forgot something. Murder rates are going through the roof in many towns and cities. Thanks to their advocacy on behalf of pure evil, repeat violent offenders, innocent victims are getting wiped out by heartless lawyer clients.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 25, 2012 6:58:36 AM

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