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EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES. REDUCING RECIDIVISM TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY. HON. WILLIAM RAY PRICE, JR. Chief Justice, Missouri Supreme Court. HON. J. RICHARD COUZENS Judge of the Placer County Superior Court (Ret.). The Need For Evidence Based Sentencing.

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  2. The Need ForEvidence Based Sentencing Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr.

  3. Since the 1980’s we attempted to incarcerate our way out of crime and illegal drug use.

  4. The problem is, it didn’t work. • We were tough on crime. • Three strikes and your out. • Throw away the key. • The war on drugs • But, we were not smart on crime.

  5. Let’s look at the numbers.

  6. Our Criminal Sentencing Problem Total Correctional PopulationTotal Pop. Behind Bars 1982 2,194,000 1982 612,000 2008 7,308,200 2008 2,304,000

  7. Cost of Increased Incarceration State correctional spending increased fourfold: 1988 $11.7 billion 2008 $47.3 billion

  8. “What we are seeing today is a growing recognition that our approach to dealing with convicted criminals is simply too costly. Not only is the price too high, but the benefits are too low. The states spend an estimated $50 billion on corrections annually, and the growth of these outlays over the past 20 years has outpace nearly all other essential government services.” Joan Petersilia, Stanford Law School

  9. Incarceration and Crime Rates

  10. U.S. Crime Volume 1982-2008 Violent Offenses 1982 1,322,390 2008 1,382,012 Property Offenses 1982 11,652,000 2008 9,768,000 Drug Offenses 1982 676,000 2007 1,841,200

  11. The War on Drugs Drug Arrests 1980 580,900 2007 1,841,200 As Percentage of All Arrests 1980 5.5% 2006 13.14% Prison Population 1982 612,000 2008 2,304,000 ↓ 1,692,000 more people behind bars

  12. Drug Use Drives CrimeAnd Fills Prisons Missouri New Prison Admissions (FY2004) • 1,239 13% Drug Convictions • 2,037 20% Probation for Drug Offense Revoked • 4,042 41% Other Crimes But Active ____ Substance Abuse 74% of all new admissions are related to illegal drug use

  13. The key measurement of the failure of our incarceration strategy is the recidivism rate. • Too many people, keep coming back.

  14. U.S. Recidivism Rates For all offenders (released 1994): Rearrest within 3 years: 67.5% Reconviction within 3 years: 46.9% For drug offenders (released 1983 vs. released 1994): Rearrest rate increased 50.4%  66.7% Reconviction rate increased 35.3%  47%

  15. The Good News About Our Failed Incarceration Based Policies Is That We Have Learned a Better Way

  16. Evidence Based Sentencing Practices • Focus On Results: Lowering Recidivism • At a Lower Cost

  17. Evidence Based Practices • Usually Reserve Prison Sentences for Violent and Habitual Offenders, and • Combine Strict Judicial Supervision, Behavioral Modification, and Treatment to Non-Violent Offenders Outside of Prison • Driven By Evidence Based Proven Strategies

  18. The Key of Evidence Based Practices is to Assess the Risks and Needs of Each Offender and Match the Most Effective and Least Expensive Strategy to Change his or her Behavior. • Usually, This Includes Swift Certain Sanctions For Bad Behavior. Rewards For Good Behavior. And Treatment, When Necessary • Data is Collected and Analyzed to Determine Best Practices

  19. Evidence Based Alternatives Are Available In Four Forms • Diversionary • Probationary • Prison • Reentry

  20. Diversionary Practices Are Pre-sentence • They May Be Pre or Post Plea or • With Stipulation of Facts • They Avoid a Record of Conviction

  21. Drug Courts, DWI Courts, Mental Health Courts, Veterans Courts are Typically • Diversionary • They Usually Include Treatment

  22. Probationary Practices are Post Sentence • HOPE is an Example of a Post Sentence Alternative

  23. HOPE Avoids/Delays Incarceration By Using Enhanced Probation Services • Hope Replaces Revocation with Swift Certain Lesser Local Sanctions • Hope can also apply to Parole • Treatment May or May Not Be Included

  24. Incarceration Can Be Evidence Based • Personal Improvement / Not Years Served • Is the Key • Education • Job Skills • Sobriety

  25. Prison is Expensive • Prison Removes the Offender From Job and Family • Without Drug, Educational, Behavior Modification Programming, Prison Does Little More Than Move an Offender From Normal Society to a Society of Criminals • Generally, Prison Should Be Reserved For Dangerous or Habitual Offenders Who do not Respond to Other Strategies

  26. Reentry Programs Focus on the Need to Help the Prisoner Rejoin Society • Parole Revocation Decreases Significantly With Passage of Time After Release • Between 1 and 15 Months After Release The Chance of Arrest Drops by 40%

  27. Reentry Programs are Usually Conducted By Parole Boards or Departments of Corrections, although Courts are Becoming More Active in this Field

  28. Good News about Drug Courts Numerous studies show that: Drug court participation results in lower recidivism rates(5 studies 8 – 26%) Drug courts result in substantial cost savings (6 studies)

  29. Drug Courts are Evidence Based Treatment Alternatives For Addicted Offenders

  30. Drug Courts Combine • Treatment • Judicial Supervision • Behavioral Modification • Rewards and Swift Certain Sanctions

  31. Missouri Drug Courts Cost Substantially Less Than Incarceration Costs (per inmate per year) Incarceration $16,832 Drug Court $3,000 - 5,000

  32. Drug Courts Provide Savings Over Probation Case Study: St. Louis City Adult Felony Drug Court Initial cost = cost of probation + cost of treatment In two years: $2,615 net savings In four years: $7,707 net savings For every $1 spent  $6.32 of savings

  33. MO Recidivism Comparison Recidivism Rates (rearrest within two years) Prison 41.6% Drug Court Graduates 10% (New JIS Tracking: 18-month Graduates 4.6% 18-month Terminations 15.2%)

  34. A real life example of recidivism was the 35 year old St. Joseph man arrested for drunk driving June 16, 2010, just three hours after he was released from prison.

  35. Other Evidenced Based • Sentencing Alternatives

  36. Adult Felony Drug Court • DWI Court • Family Drug Court • Veterans’ Court • Mental Health Court • Reintegration/Reentry Court • All combine evidence based treatment with intense supervision

  37. “I believe we can take an approach that is both tough and smart…[T]here are thousands of nonviolent offenders in the system whose future we cannot ignore. Let’s focus more resources on rehabilitating those offenders so we can ultimately spend less money locking them up again.” Gov. Rick Perry, Texas

  38. Requirements for Evidence Based Sentencing Practices • Assessment Tool • Training • Data Collection • Evidence Based / Not Intuition Based Decisions

  39. The Bottom line • The quality of justice is not measured by the length of sentence. • One size, one strategy, does not fit all offenders. • Breaking the cycle of addiction and crime requires scientific evidence based treatment and the development of job skills and intense supervision, not always prison walls. • Results matter. Cost matters.

  40. SOURCES NADCP • NCSC • PEW • The Box Set paper by Roger Warren entitled, Evidence-Based Practice to Reduce Recidivism: Implications for State Judiciaries; • Curriculum materials for Evidence-Based Sentencing, http://www.ncsconline.org/csi/education.html; • Additional information about training in Evidence-Based Sentencing, http://cjinstitute.org/about/services/trainings/; and • Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument materials, http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/corrections/riskAssessment/ • nadcp.org


  42. The Problem….. • No money • No sustainable state funding of probation • Under-funding & large caseloads • High recidivism & revocation rates • Approximately 52,000 sent to prison • 20,000 (40%) on revocations • $1 Billion annual cost • 70% commit crimes after release

  43. The Challenge…. Reduce recidivism where ever possible Lower state prison and parole costs Increase public protection through reduction in recidivism Goal is to change anti-social behavior, not temporary control while on probation

  44. Purposes of Sentencing… 1. “Just Deserts:” punishment proportionate to offense and culpability 2. Public Safety • Rehabilitation • Specific Deterrence • Incapacitation/Control • General Deterrence 3. Restitution/ Restoration of community Risk Reduction & Management

  45. “Sentencing is a complex topic that needs to be approached with humility, an open mind and common sense.” Hon. Michael A. Wolff Judge, Supreme Court of Missouri

  46. What it is…..and what it is not….. • EBP is … • More information about offender • One added tool to use among many • Better management by probation • Overall reduction in recidivism • EBP is not … • Telling judges how to sentence • Replacing independent judgment

  47. Where do the courts fit in? • This is a reasoned, methodical attempt to apply validated principles of case management to the criminal justice system • Judges are being asked to support probation in its effort to implement EBP • Judges are being asked, at very least, to do no harm

  48. What is EBP? “[S]upervision policies, procedures, programs, and practices demonstrated by scientific research to reduce recidivism among individuals under probation, parole or postrelease supervision.” P.C. § 1229(d)

  49. Professional practice supported by the best research evidence: • Rigorous evaluation (i.e., use of control groups • Replicated in multiple studies • Systematic review (meta-analysis)

  50. Where does it come from? • Washington State Institute for Public Policy • Meta-analysis of 571 studies • “Cautious” approach – discounted results • Adult EB programs reduce recidivism by 10-20% • Moderate increase in use of EBP would avoid two new prisons, save $2.1 billion, and reduce crime rate by 8%

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