JPI Says Prison Populations Can Be Safely Trimmed

A new report from the Justice Policy Institute urges states to use “innovative and evidence-based strategies” to safely and cost-effectively reduce their prison populations. JPI “found that increasing opportunities for parole and improving parole release decisions, improving parole supervision and ensuring access to support and treatment services are cost-effective means of cutting extraneous spending while maintaining public safety.”

The report is For Immediate Release: How to Safely Reduce Prison Populations and Support People Returning to Their Communities.

“The notion that there is a public safety trade-off when shifting public dollars from prisons to positive, pro-social investments is false and has contributed to destructive policies that have given the United States the world’s largest incarceration rate and continue to disproportionately impact communities of color,” says JPI’s executive director, Tracy Velazquez. “Releasing people deemed ’low risk’ to community supervision and providing adequate treatment and support services will improve outcomes and strengthen families and communities.”

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