Is There a Better Way to Spend Anti-Crime $$$?

By , April 14, 2010 3:40 pm

Several states have embraced ‘justice reinvestment’ as a way of reducing prison populations. But it still causes jitters among many legislators.

With most American prison cells full and state budgets hurting, “justice reinvestment” seems like an attractive concept. Why not spend taxpayer dollars on rehabilitation programs that may break the cycle of re-imprisonment instead of on expensive housing for criminals behind bars?

Indeed, the reinvestment idea has made good headway. A dozen states have adopted or at least are seriously considering its principles. A bill is making its way through Congress that would provide more federal funding to test it in other states.

The idea started in 2003 in Connecticut, where state leaders were disturbed about being asked to spend increasing sums on prison building and maintenance while many released inmates committed new crimes. “They wanted to know what taxpayers were paying and what they were getting for it,” says Marshall Clement of the Council of State Governments CSG Justice Center, which provides states with advice on governance and has been a leader in promoting the justice reinvestment concept.

via The Crime Report » Archive » Is There a Better Way to Spend Anti-Crime $$$?.

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