This report describes ways in which the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) has assisted states in implementing changes in policy and practice based on recommendations developed under a Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), which is a data-driven, policymaking model for increasing the cost-effectiveness of a state’s criminal justice system.
The CJI, with support from the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), assists states in using the JRI process to identify and interpret the drivers of crime and criminal justice costs, followed by the development and implementation of cost-effective strategies for improving public safety. CJI’s technical assistance consists of building support for the JRI process, fostering collaboration, installing new policies and practices, and increasing agencies’ capacity to sustain those changes. In the first phase of JRI, states examine criminal justice data to develop innovative and evidence-based policy recommendations for improving a state’s criminal justice system through reform legislation. Phase II of the JRI process consists of implementing the policy and practice changes and then measuring results. The current report outlines the support CJI provides states in Phase II of the JRI and presents data and information on how specific states have implemented and benefitted from the JRI process. Overall, states that have received CJI technical assistance in implementing JRI have experienced prison population declines; used their prisons mainly for violent offenders while diverting nonviolent offenders to evidence-based community corrections; and experienced $96 million in savings from prison population reductions. The savings have been reinvested in evidence-based public-safety strategies.