Justice Department and States Address Prisoner Recidivism

WASHINGTON — On Dec. 8., the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) sponsored a forum of policymakers from all 50 states to focus on improving success rates for people released from prison. The event positioned states to set goals, or to expand on existing goals, for reducing recidivism through cost-effective strategies in their communities.

In partnership with the Council of State Governments, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the Public Welfare Foundation and the Pew Center on the States, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is working with all 50 states to identify and pursue cost-effective strategies on their investments in public safety. Following the forum, participants will begin setting measurable goals for reducing recidivism; creating plans to achieve these goals by drawing on the latest research and experiences from the field; and identifying benchmarks state and federal policymakers can use to track progress.
A Pew Center on the States report presented on Dec. 8 demonstrated that reducing states’ recidivism rates by just 10 percent could collectively save states more than $635 million a year in averted prison costs. Experts pointed to research showing how certain strategies can help reduce recidivism, including concentrating supervision and treatment resources on those most likely to reoffend.

U.S. Department of Justice: www.justice.gov
Pew Center on the States: www.pewcenteronthestates.org