Colorado

JS Publication April 27, 2009

Reducing Recidivism: A Review of Effective State Initiatives

The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition commissioned this report that documents how retraining staff in behavioral intervention methods, implementing system-wide organizational improvements, and restructuring probation and parole supervision around the crime related behaviors allowed Maryland’s PCS program to achieve an amazing 42 percent lower rate of re-arrests for people under supervision. Crime related behaviors were described under Maryland’s PCS program as violence, drug entrepreneurship, drug abuse, domestic abuse, etc. In addition, the report introduces the concept of Justice Reinvestment to Colorado policymakers, profiling efforts in Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas to improve parole and probation supervision outcomes while reducing state correctional costs. The report was presented by Judy Greene and Nestor Rios, joined by Judith Sachwald (former Director of Maryland's Division of Parole and Probation) in a special joint session of Colorado’s House and Senate Judiciary Committees on April 27, 2009. Key members of Colorado Governor Ritter’s staff, the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, government officials and community agency representatives were also present.

JS Update April 27, 2009

Testimony: Alternatives to parole and probation supervision improve safety, reduce costs

In these related documents Judith Greene, Director of Justice Strategies, Néstor M. Ríos, Senior Research Analyst and Director of Operations for Justice Strategies, and Judith Sachwald, independent consultant and former Director of Maryland's Division of Parole and Probation, present their testimony before a joint session of Colorado's House and Senate Judiciary Committees, held April 27, 2009.

Testimony began with Judith Greene addressing the joint committee on Justice Reinvestment, an innovative strategy for reducing spending on corrections, increasing public safety, and improving conditions in those neighborhoods from which large numbers of people are sent to, and return from, prison. Advocates of this strategy urge reductions in prison spending and investment of those savings into the infrastructure and civic institutions of "high risk" neighborhoods to help residents improve the quality of their lives. Ms. Greene testimony offers examples of this strategy at work in Hartford, Connecticut; Wichita, Kansas; and Phoenix, Arizona. Read more »

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