AT A GLANCE
The Justice Reinvestment Act
Despite reservations by conservative Republicans in the Legislature, a plan to reduce the state's inmate population is begrudgingly moving forward.
• The Justice Reinvestment Act was signed into law last spring and went into effect last November.
• The act seeks to slow growth of the state's inmate population over the long term by investing millions of dollars now in diversionary programs, post-imprisonment supervision and mental health and substance abuse assessments for those about to be sentenced to prison.
• If implemented in full, the initiative has the potential to reduce state prison beds by more than 2,000 and slash corrections costs by $200 million over the next decade, with more than half of that reinvested into focused crime-fighting strategies.
• The current fiscal budget includes about $3.7 million in funding for the initiative; a budget agreement announced Wednesday for the coming year allots another $3.5 million to the project.
• The initiative is based on a nationwide model and was developed in conjunction with the Council of State Governments.
From Staff Reports