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Private-Sector, Incentives-Based Model for Justice Reinvestment

NCJ Number
Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 10 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2011 Pages: 585-608
Todd R. Clear
Date Published
August 2011
24 pages
This article describes a private-sector model for using justice reinvestment in the U.S. criminal justice system.
This article examines an incentives-based, private-sector model for successfully implementing justice reinvestment in communities across the country. The goal of justice reinvestment is to redirect a portion of the money currently spent on prisons to rebuilding the human resources and physical infrastructure of neighborhoods devastated by high incarceration rates. This article explores the current work being done with justice reinvestment, and the four step strategy that States and counties can use to determine if justice reinvestment is a good fit for their communities. The four steps include: 1) analyze the prison and/or jail population and spending in the communities to which people often return after a period of incarceration; 2) provide policymakers with options to generate savings and increase public safety; 3) quantify savings and reinvest in select high-stakes communities; and 4) measure the impact and enhance accountability. Concerns regarding the current justice reinvestment agenda are also examined and include an overemphasis on reducing recidivism, reinvesting in government instead of communities, working towards cost avoidance rather than true savings, and identifying actual savings and using them for reinvestment. The final section of the article describes an incentives-based strategy for implementing justice reinvestment that should follow seven basic principles. These seven principles are examined along with the four main components of the strategy and problems that could arise from the use of incentives-based strategy for justice reinvestment. References