New Criminal Justice Reforms Increasing State to State

The Vera Institute

states_imgmapForty-six states made at least 201 changes to their laws on sentencing and corrections in 2014 and 2015, an “increase in pace” since an analysis of state changes three years ago, reports the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice. The Vera report said most of the state actions focused on three stages of the criminal justice system: creating or expanding diversion of people from entering the system; reducing prison populations by making some offenses eligible for community-based sentences, reducing the length and severity of sentences, adding early release options, reducing the number of people re-admitted for violating probation or parole, and supporting prisoner reentry into the community.

Vera singled out several legislative trends in criminal justice reform. In the bail area, several states have addressed the overuse of pretrial detention, especially for those unable to make bail. Some states are enacting legislation to waive some fees for defendants, allow payment plans for restitution, and limit the use of incarceration as a penalty for non-payment. To deal with the opioid crisis, some states are passing laws incorporating medical-assisted treatment to supplement existing or new treatment approaches, both in custody and in the community. States also are reducing the use of solitary confinement and improving conditions and treatment for those in solitary.

 Vera Institute Report found at: New Trends in State Sentencing and Correction 2014 Р2015

4 thoughts on “New Criminal Justice Reforms Increasing State to State”

  1. Finally, i hear good news. But how long will it take to establish a decent and humane treatment. Our children cannot wait much longer..

    1. Yes definitely, I understand what you mean, yet it will for sure be better! Yet I think most of us can agree, we have a long way to go don’t we? Right now there is just fractured policy changes, we need over the board reform, consistency & adherence to empirical research.

  2. Reform never happens fast enough. Too much money is made for certain people. As an offshoot of my blog I started a newsletter 4 months ago (one issue per month). ITFO Newsletter. The letters stand for the title of the book I’m writing, “Inside The Forbidden Outside” on issues of prison reform, racism, prison guard abuse. I’m building my mailing list and also looking for blogs I can promote and things people have written to bring traffic to them. If you’re interested let me know.

    1. Yes your correct on that, and as of yet although we’ve had a steady flow of reform, it’s still not consistent and calculated enough. Too many states are digging their heals in when it comes to punitive policy, and it can be disheartening. You are correct that money has too much to do with the decisions that are made, instead of people. We need to try & connect the dots for them. In the long run if you invest in people you will build sustainability by practicing restorative justice in your communities and along with that build your social capital! I will look up your blog what is it’s url? Thanks for responding!

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