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News items related to Fiscal Policy

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Bail Fail: Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Using Money for Bail

JPI's newest analysis shows that the practice of using money to decide release while awaiting trial unfairly impacts low-income communities.

Behind the Times: President Obama's FY2013 Budget

Despite the fact that prison populations have fallen for the first time in 40 years, President Obama’s FY2013 budget released this week devotes more than $27 billion to prison and policing.

Federal Folly: FY2012 U.S. Department of Justice Budget Gorges on Prisons, Gouges Juvenile Justice

The proposed 2012 budget for the U.S. Department of Justice puts locking people up ahead of reducing delinquency, protecting youth, and improving outcomes for the formerly incarcerated. 

System Overload: The Costs of Under-Resourcing Public Defense

The overburdening of U.S. public defense systems that serve millions of people annually is jeopardizing the fairness of our justice system.

Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results

The President’s proposed FY2012 budget will do little to reduce the burden of incarceration on our country or improve community safety in a lasting and meaningful way.

When More is Less: How a Larger Women’s Jail in Baltimore will Reduce Public Safety and Diminish Resources for Positive Social Investments

Despite declines in the number of women held in the Baltimore City Detention Center, Maryland is planning to build a large, new women’s facility.

Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Spending

A review of the $2 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds spent on the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

Money Well Spent: How Positive Social Investments Will Reduce Incarceration Rates, Improve Public Safety, and Promote the Well-Being of Communities.

More people in the United States are being arrested and incarcerated even though crime has dropped, with the consequences of these policies being felt most by low-income communities.

Shifting the Problem: Fact Sheet on Proposed California Community Corrections Enhancement Act
California’s Prison Reduction Plan Will Overburden Counties; Misses the Mark.
Shifting prison population to jails will increase costs and incarceration rates.
Fact Sheet on The Obama Administration’s 2011 Budget: More Policing, Prisons, and Punitive Policies

Justice advocates disturbed by proposed $29 billion for ineffective and unfair policies.

The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense

Approximately 93,000 young people are held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States. Seventy percent of these youth are held in state-funded, postadjudication, residential facilities, at an average cost of $240.99 per day per youth.2 With states facing serious budgetary constraints, it is an opportune time for policymakers to consider ways to reduce juvenile justice spending that won’t compromise public safety.

Pruning Prisons: How Cutting Corrections Can Save Money and Protect Public Safety

Federal, state and local governments are spending a combined $68 billion dollars a year on a system that does not definitively improve public safety, but, instead, destabilizes communities, harms families, and derails the lives of individuals.

Fact Sheet on FY2010 Department of Justice Budget

The President’s proposed FY2010 Department of Justice (DOJ) budget asks for $26.7 billion. The budget reduces spending on juvenile justice programs, while increasing budgets for law enforcement, including Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne Grants) and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants. The budget also increases spending on prisons, including 1,000 new contract beds (private prison providers) and two new federal prisons.

The Release Valve: Parole in Maryland

In the current difficult economic situation, states are searching for ways to reduce spending while maintaining safe communities. With a $68 billion prison system holding over 2.3 million people in prisons and jails across the country—with no clear public safety gains—policymakers are looking to prison systems as a place to cut budgets.

Factsheet Series on SORNA Registries and Youth

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)1, which mandates a national registry of people convicted of sex offenses and expands the type of offenses for which a person must register, applies to both adults and children.

Public Safety Brief: Housing and Public Safety

Studies found that substandard housing—particularly where exposure to lead hazards is more likely to occur—is associated with higher violent crime rates.

Employment, Wages and Public Safety

Increased employment is associated with positive public safety outcomes. Researchers have found that from 1992 to 1997, a time when the unemployment rate dropped 33 percent, "slightly more than 40 percent of the decline [in overall property crime rate] can be attributed to the decline in unemployment."

Education and Public Safety Policy Brief

Graduation rates were associated with positive public safety outcomes. Researchers have found that a 5 percent increase in male high school graduation rates would produce an annual savings of almost $5 billion in crime-related expenses.

Effective Investments in Public Safety: Mass Incarceration and Longer Sentences Fail to Make Us Safer

Places that did not increase their use of incarceration as much as others experienced bigger drops in crime.

Effective Investments in Public Safety: Drug Treatment

Whereas in 1980 only about 8% of federal and state prisoners were incarcerated for a drug offense, in 2003, 55 percent of the federal prison population and 20 percent of prisoners in state facilities were incarcerated for drug offenses.

Effective Investments in Public Safety: Unemployment, Wages, and the Crime Rate

Research studies focusing on unemployment rates and market wages have found relationships with the crime rate in the United States.

Effective Investments in Public Safety: Education

There is evidence that suggests that education and graduation rates may relate to crime rates, and this new research comes at a time when education programs are receiving less and less funding, and more money is being spent to incarceration—a public safety policy that has not been proven to lower crime rates.

Cost-Effective Youth Corrections: Rationalizing the Fiscal Architecture of Juvenile Justice Systems

A number of states have shown that by rethinking how they fund their juvenile justice systems, states and localities can succeed in keeping more youth at home, reduce the number of youth incarcerated, and promote better outcomes for young people moving through these systems.

Cutting Correctly in Maryland

State officials across the nation are struggling to come to terms with the largest state budget shortfall in 50 years.

Cutting Correctly: New Prison Policies for Times of Fiscal Crisis

It cost nearly $40 billion to imprison approximately two million state and local inmates in 2000, up from $5billion in 1978. Twenty-four billion of that was spent on incarceration for non-violent offenders.  

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