Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New bipartisan effort on NC correction policy

State and local officials today announced an effort to use a "data-driven" approach to public safety policymaking that will save money on prisons and use it more wisely to prevent recidivism.

An interesting bipartisan coalition includes Gov. Bev Perdue, N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker, Democratic and Republican leaders of the state House and Senate and local prosecutors such as Mecklenburg District Attorney Peter Gilchrist. They're working with the Council on State Governments, the Pew Center on the States and the U.S. Justice Department to figure out a better way to use public money to reduce spending on prison and still "hold offenders accountable for their actions."

Who knows -- this kind of bipartisanship might just pay off. In the current political atmospher, it's hard to remember the last time there was a bipartisan effort with the heads of all three branches of state government -- the governor, the chief justice, the speaker and president pro tempore and the minority leaders of both the House and Senate. Will wonders never cease?

It's part of a "justice reinvestment" approach developed by the Council of State Governments that aims to stop offenders from committing more crimes and sending the same inmates to prison time and time again. The hope is to help released inmates lead productive lives that keep them out of trouble and out of courts, jails and costly prison cells. That's a particular concern right now because the state's prison population has increased by more than one-fourth in the last decade and the Correction Department's budget has jumped by nearly half.

“By using a data-driven approach, we will get the information we need to ensure that every taxpayer dollar spent on corrections and other public safety measures has the greatest impact on crime,” Perdue said in a news release from her office. “It will also allow us to reinvest savings to reduce recidivism, in turn, reducing the additional prisons that may be needed over the next ten years.”

For more information about the justice reinvestment program, click here.

For text of the press release, click here.

10 comments:

angela said...
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angela said...
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Van said...

"stop offenders from committing more crimes and sending the same inmates to prison time and time again."

Hmmm - if they would stop releasing the same inmates over and over again, wouldn't that also be a way to address the problem?

mili8951 said...
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daiyanren said...
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Venita Peyton said...

Why create a committee just before the primary and when all House and Senate seats are up?

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