Nov 2, 2010

What is Justice Reinvestment?

It's a buzz word that reentry community has been increasingly hearing about--Justice Reinvestment.  What exactly is it and how do we use this strategy to increase public safety by redistributing resources from within jails, prisons, and our community?

A new report by the Urban Institute provides a comprehensive look at justice reinvestment and how to begin planning and implementing reinvestment strategies in any jurisdiction.

"Justice reinvestment is a systemwide process designed for local leaders who want to rethink how they allocate resources throughout their criminal justice and social service systems. It is for city and county officials who are aiming not just to contain criminal justice costs, but also to achieve a greater public safety impact from current resources. Importantly, justice reinvestment is not a single decision, project, or strategy. Rather, it is a multistaged and ongoing process whereby local stakeholders collaborate across city and county systems to identify drivers of criminal justice costs and then develop and implement new ways of reinvesting scarce resources–both in the community and within the jail system–in a manner that yields a more costbeneficial
impact on public safety. This chapter provides an overview of the process that embodies thorough justice reinvestment undertaking, with subsequent chapters providing more detail on each of these six critical steps:
1. Engage in ongoing interagency strategic planning;
2. Collect and analyze relevant criminal justice data;
3. Develop and implement alternative strategies;
4. Document costs and potential savings;
5. Reinvest savings in the community and the jail; and
6. Assess the impact of reinvestment strategies."