In Defense of Risk-Assessment Tools

October 24, 2017

It may seem weird to rely on an impersonal algorithm to predict a person’s behavior given the enormous stakes. But the gravity of the outcome—in cost, crime, and wasted human potential—is exactly why we should use an algorithm. Read the… Read more

Want less crime? Put fewer people in jail

September 15, 2017

Recent studies show that even short stays in jail can spur a significant increase in a person’s likelihood to reoffend, while longer detentions correlate with even greater odds of recidivism. Overall crime rates are lower than they have been in decades, but the rate of… Read more

Pew Public Safety Performance Project summarizes JRI reforms

August 30, 2017

In a recent report the Pew Public Safety Performance Project summarized reforms undertaken as part of a decade-long effort by the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), in which 36 states have enacted laws implementing research-based changes to their sentencing, release, oversight, and supervision policies…. Read more


August 23, 2017

America’s justice system runs on the exchange of money for freedom. Some say that’s unfair. But can data fix it? A 2013 report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance found 38 percent of inmates in New Jersey jails were there… Read more

Opinion: The Practical Case for Parole for Violent Offenders

August 10, 2017

Those prison inmates who are eligible for parole consideration are usually repeatedly denied based on the “nature of the crime,” rather than an evaluation of a person’s transformation and accomplishments since they committed it. The compassion, engagement and intellect of people… Read more

Nine Lessons About Criminal Justice Reform

July 21, 2017

Every year about 650,000 of those prisoners are released back into the world. We know that most of them will be unemployed a year later, and that two-thirds of them will be rearrested within three years. We have a corrections… Read more

The Essential Role of Medicaid and Criminal Justice

July 13, 2017

Specialty courts take aim at social determinants which can be “root cause drivers” and the intersections between poverty, trauma, adverse childhood experiences and disparities in race, health and education. From a criminal and juvenile justice perspective, the role of Medicaid… Read more