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Envisioning an Alternative Future for the Corrections Sector Within the U.S. Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2017
33 pages
This report presents the key findings of the Visioning a Future for the Corrections Sector panel, which was supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in an endeavor to frame goals, objectives, and outcomes for the criminal justice corrections sector in the future, along with potential facilitators for achieving them.
The vision presented for the corrections sector is informed by the views and ideas elicited through a visioning exercise with experts in the corrections sector. The panelists agreed that the sector's primary role is to facilitate positive offender behavioral change and that it should continue to leverage science, technology, and evidence-based practices in achieving this primary goal. In this effort, probation, parole, and community-based resources should be significantly expanded and adequately funded. Panelists highlighted the following promising solutions: 1) the use of proportionate prison sentences for dangerous offenders; 2) the provision of better opportunities for inmates to prepare for release; and 3) the creation of smaller, safer facilities located closer to inmates' social support and resources critical to reentry success. Panelists suggested three types of changes: 1) new programs and improved education and training for corrections staff; 2) adequate public funding of the corrections system; and 3) culture change combined with sustained political will and backed by data-driven policy. 7 figures and approximately 100 references

Date Published: November 1, 2017