Releasing Nonviolent Offenders Before Their Sentences Are Finished as a Budget Reducer?
Under its new early release program, as many as 1,000 nonviolent offenders will be able to finish their sentences at home or at other locations approved by prison officials.
In the aggregate, nonviolent offenders awaiting release from prison were largely serious offenders as indicated by several criteria. An estimated 88% of these offenders reported one of the following: — use of a weapon in the current offense (8%) — a prior violent conviction (22%).
Some law enforcement executives told us that they have their hands full maintaining traditional police functions with sharply reduced funding, and that the idea of taking on new duties regarding prisoner reentry is simply unrealistic in the current environment. In coming years, the economy may improve, making it easier to provide needed funding for correctional agencies, police, and social programs. But regardless of how quickly or slowly the economy gathers steam, the long-term trend for law enforcement agencies may be toward greater involvement in prisoner reentry initiatives. Why? Because today’s police departments are all about solving problems and preventing crime. And they have been very successful; rates for serious crimes like homicide and robbery are roughly half of what they were in the early 1990s. But continued progress may require police to get a handle on the problem of offenders who commit hundreds of crimes over a lifetime as they move back and forth between jail or prison and the community (“Good to Great” Policing, 2007).
There is every reason to believe that scientific knowledge will help us address the problems in sentencing and corrections.
Patrol-Level Response to a Suicide Bomb Threat: Guidelines for Consideration (2007)
Strategies for Resolving Conflict and Minimizing Use of Force (2007)
“Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector (2007)