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NCJ Number: 221187 Find in a Library
Title: Increasing Public Safety and Reducing Spending: Applying a Justice Reinvestment Strategy in Texas and Kansas
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:69  Issue:6  Dated:December 2007  Pages:64-67
Author(s): Crystal Garland
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the efforts in Texas and Kansas to reduce the costs of a skyrocketing prison population by enacting policies and creating programs to improve outcomes for individuals on probation and parole through the expanded use of drug treatment and vocational programs.
Abstract: In May 2007, the Texas legislature passed a package of criminal justice legislation that involved the largest investment in treatment and diversion programs of any State in that year. The package included more than 8,700 new in-prison and community-based beds and slots in treatment and diversion programs that target parole and probation technical violators and individuals with behavioral health needs. Lawmakers also modified probation and parole policies and procedures so as to establish a maximum limit for parole caseloads and to reduce maximum probation terms from 10 years to 5 years for nonviolent drug and property offenders. In addition, the Texas Legislature established a permanent Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee to monitor the implementation of new criminal justice policies and programs, including ongoing analyses of the criminal justice system and policy recommendations. These actions reduced the requested budget for corrections by $210 million over the next 2 fiscal years. Also in May 2007, the Kansas legislature passed a legislative package that established a performance-based community corrections grant program intended to reduce revocation rates by 20 percent, along with a 60-day program credit that people in prison could earn for successfully completing risk-reduction programs. As part of the package, Kansas lawmakers reinvested $7 million that would have been spent on prison construction in order to fund additional treatment programs and strengthen community supervision in high-crime neighborhoods. With the money Texas and Kansas are expected to save during the next few years, policymakers in each State are looking to reinvest in strategies designed to improve outcomes in the communities to which most people released from prison return. 13 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community-based corrections (adult); Corrections costs; Corrections resources; Diversion programs; Drug treatment programs; Kansas; Prison overcrowding; Probation or parole services; State laws; Texas; Vocational counseling; Vocational training
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