This report describes the ways in which 17 states have used the strategies, training, and technical assistance of the federal Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) to improve their community-based corrections rehabilitation programs and practices, with the goal of reducing recidivism.
The JRI is a federal program that provides technical assistance to states that focuses on improving data collection and analysis as the means to identify key criminal justice challenges and develop effective strategies for addressing them. JRI is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The current report describes the five strategies that emerged in 17 states that used JRI resources to improve their community-based corrections rehabilitation effectiveness and thus reduce recidivism by probationers and parolees. One of the strategies that emerged from the use of the JRI model was the strengthening of responses to probation and parole violations by using evidence-based practices, i.e., practices proven effective in similar jurisdictions, based on state-of-the-art evaluations. A second response that emerged from application of the JRI model was to concentrate supervision resources on individuals assessed to be at the highest risk to reoffend. A third strategy for improving probation and parole outcomes was to prioritize funding for measures that improve community supervision. A fourth strategy was to strengthen gender-responsive approaches to community supervision; and a fifth strategy was to provide judges with more tools for guiding probation term lengths in sentencing based on offender risk and needs assessment. The states included in the case studies are Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming. 1 figure