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NCJ Number: 249886 Find in a Library
Title: Economic Perspectives on Incarceration and the Criminal Justice System
Corporate Author: US Executive Office of the President
United States of America
Date Published: April 2016
Page Count: 80
Sponsoring Agency: US Executive Office of the President
Washington, DC 20500
Sale Source: US Executive Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview; Legislation/Policy Analysis; Policy
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After examining the scope and causes of the historical growth in incarceration and other criminal justice policies in the United States, this paper develops a general framework for assessing criminal justice policy, and then presents the Obama Administration’s holistic approach to criminal justice reform through policies that impact the community, correctional facilities, and the court.
Abstract: The report concludes that although U.S. crime rates are historically low, the criminal justice system incarcerates 2.2 million people; costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars annually; and imposes substantial indirect adverse consequences on individuals involved in the justice system, along with their families and communities. These adverse consequences impact employment, health, debt, transportation, housing, and other survival needs. Economic research suggests several policies for making the U.S. criminal justice system more cost-effective and equitable. In reflecting on criminal justice policy evaluation research and economic analysis, the Obama Administration has taken steps to make the criminal justice system more effective, efficient, and equitable. It has invested in targeted prevention programs for youth and early childhood education to reduce crime in the near-term and over the long-run. It has promoted community policing and improved police transparency, so as to improve community safety and build community. It has sought to change employment restrictions and expand access to health care and housing to facilitate ex-offenders’ reentry into the community after serving their sentences. In addition, the Obama Administration has implemented new policies that improve and expand skill and job training, mental health services, and access to education for inmates, so as to reduce barriers to reentry and decrease recidivism. It will continue to work for reform within the Executive Branch and work with Congress to pass legislation aimed at criminal justice reform. 38 figures, 2 tables, and approximately 200 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Cost effectiveness analysis; Court reform; Criminal justice system policy; Criminal justice system reform; Police reform
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