State lawmakers are reforming sentencing laws and correction policies nationwide. They have two objectives: Quickly cut state spending on corrections and ensure public safety is protected in the future.
With one in 100 American adults behind bars and one in 31 under correctional supervision, lawmakers are questioning traditional assumptions about prison and rehabilitation. Recent studies and reforms show states can be smarter on crime and easier on taxpayers. Many new policies not only look to hold offenders accountable, reduce crime and victimization, but also to be sensitive to corrections costs.
Donna Lyons, criminal justice research expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, outlines seven principles an NSCL work group identified for states reforming sentencing and corrections policies. Read more.