Drivers of Growth in the Federal Prison Population (Research Report)
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The federal prison population has grown by 750 percent since 1980, resulting in rapidly increasing expenditures for incarceration and dangerous overcrowding. In response, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to examine trends in correctional growth and develop practical, data-driven policy responses. Following the example of many states that have recently engaged in criminal justice reform, the first step for the Task Force is to understand the underlying drivers of growth in the prison population.
Improving Recidivism as a Performance Measure (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: March 11, 2015||Publication Date: March 11, 2015|
Improving recidivism data collection and reporting is a critical first step to advancing our knowledge about what works in sentencing and corrections policy. This brief outlines the necessary elements that every state should use when defining, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating recidivism data. It offers a blueprint for gathering a broad range of reoffending indicators, accurately comparing across groups and over time, and using the results to inform decisionmaking and improve outcomes. Improving our ability to accurately track data on reoffending is critical for the next generation of policy-relevant and action-oriented recidivism research.
Improving Recidivism as a Performance Measure Webinar
Aging Behind Bars: Trends and Implications of Graying Prisoners in the Federal Prison System (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: October 01, 2014||Publication Date: October 01, 2014|
This new Urban Institute study provides an in-depth examination of the growth patterns in the largest correctional system in the United States—the US Bureau of Prisons. The number of prisoners age 50 or older experienced a 330 percent increase from 1994 to 2011. The authors find that the proportion of these older prisoners is expected to have an even steeper growth curve in the near future and they may consume a disproportionately large amount of the federal prison budget. Recommendations for policy and research include expanding data-driven knowledge on older prisoners and developing cost-effective management plans for them.
Close-Range Gunfire around DC Schools (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 05, 2014||Publication Date: September 05, 2014|
This report examines the incidence of gunfire as measured by gunshot detection technology using data from the 2011-2012 school year. It finds that a disproportionate volume of gunfire happened near a small share of DC schools. About half of DC schools covered by gunshot detection sensors are in close proximity to gunfire, and four schools were subject to repeated bursts of gunfire. These findings shed new light on students' exposure to violence and raise important questions about the psychological impact of gunfire on students and how their proximity to gunfire may affect truancy and educational outcomes.
State Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010 (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 03, 2014||Publication Date: September 03, 2014|
Hospital use and hospital mortality related to firearm-assault injuries varies considerably across demographic groups and states, as does the percentage of firearm-assault injury hospital costs borne by the public. Healthcare data from six states--Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin--show that hospital use for firearm-assault injury is disproportionately concentrated among young males, particularly young black males. Additionally, uninsured victims have higher hospital mortality rates for firearm-assault injury. Across all six states, the public pays a substantial portion of the hospital cost for injuries caused by firearm assault.
Interim Reincarceration Outcomes of Safer Return (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: August 25, 2014||Publication Date: August 25, 2014|
Safer Return provided supportive services to 727 individuals returning from state prison to Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood. This interim analysis uses administrative data from the Illinois Department of Corrections to compare one-year reincarceration outcomes of: Safer Return participants, nonparticipants paroled to a comparison neighborhood, and nonparticipants paroled to Garfield Park. Of the three groups, program participants had the lowest reincarceration rate. Statistical analyses find that participants' did not fare significantly better than nonparticipants paroled to the comparison neighborhood, but they did fare significantly better than Garfield Park nonparticipants. Differences in reincarceration rates were driven largely by differences in technical violations.
Organizational Efficiency and Early Disposition Programs in Federal Courts (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: March 28, 2014||Publication Date: March 28, 2014|
Early disposition or "fast-track" programs in federal sentencing allow a prosecutor to offer a reduced sentence in exchange for a defendant's prompt guilty plea and waiver of certain legal rights. Based on immigration cases in federal districts, this study finds that fast-track participants received a modest reduction in sentence length compared to otherwise similar non-participants. The estimated reduction in case processing time attributable to fast-track programs was also of moderate consequence to the government. The report discusses policy implications of fast-track processing in terms of organizational efficiency and fair treatment of defendants in federal court.
Imprisonment and Disenfranchisement of Disconnected Low-Income Men (Research Brief)
|Posted to Web: February 18, 2014||Publication Date: January 24, 2014|
Incarceration rates have risen over time and vary by race and ethnicity, reflecting changes in federal and state crime policies over the past few decades. In 2011, African American men were six times more likely and Hispanics nearly two and half times more likely to be imprisoned than white men. This brief summarizes some of the disparate impacts these policies have had on African American and Hispanic men and the consequences for their families and communities.
|Posted to Web: January 08, 2014||Publication Date: January 08, 2014|