JS Publication November 12, 2010

New York City Enforcement of Immigration Detainers

Justice Strategies is conducting research for a forthcoming report on the combined impact of drug laws and immigration enforcement on jailers, prisoners and taxpayers. The New York City Department of Corrections provided Justice Strategies with a database of all discharges in 2008. We analyzed the dataset of noncitizen prisoners whose top charge is a drug-related offense.

Justice Strategies found that:

  • While Homeland Security purports to target the most dangerous offenders, there appears to be no correlation between offense level and identification for deportation.
  • In New York City, Homeland Security detainers are enforced in such a fashion as to effectively terminate the bail rights of certain pre-trial noncitizen prisoners.
  • Controlling for race and offense level, noncitizens with an ICE detainer spend 73 days longer in jail before being discharged, on average, than those without an ICE detainer.
News Article The Tennessean June 25, 2010

CCA may make some immigration prisons less jail-like

Eight Corrections Corporation of America detention centers that house asylum seekers and immigrants awaiting deportation may be line for makeovers to create a less prison-like feel.

JS Update May 27, 2010

Video: Judy Greene discusses failure of gang enforcement tactics at a Cleveland Gang Wars Forum

Screen shot 2010-06-03 at 1.56.23 PM.png Presenting at a forum on gang wars in Cleveland, Judy Greene argues that traditional gang enforcement tactics like gang databases fail to enhance public safety. New York City, which has moved away from heavy-handed gang enforcement approaches, has managed to lower crime by focusing attention on guns rather than gangs.
News Article Christian Science Monitor May 18, 2010

Justice Strategies Research suggests Arizona immigration law echoes failed federal immigrant policing act

A new Christian Science Monitor article cites Justice Strategies’ research on the federal immigration act, 287(g), which may have served as a precursor to the widely denounced Arizona immigration law.

News Article Philadelphia Inquirer March 25, 2010

Shrinking Pa.'s Prison Population

A new report by the Pew Center on the States shows that while the national prison population declined last year for the first time in 38 years, Pennsylvania's number of inmates increased more than any other state's.

News Article Washington Post March 3, 2010

States reduce prison populations as budgets shrink

Many state governments continued last year to reduce their prison populations through sentencing reforms enacted because of shrinking state budgets, according to two reports released Wednesday by a research group that advocates for lower rates of imprisonment.

In 2009, at least 19 states adopted criminal justice policies intended to cut down on the number of prisoners they house by shortening sentences, according to the Sentencing Project. For example, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island each scaled back mandatory sentencing laws for some drug offenses.

Three states -- Michigan, New Jersey and New York -- reduced their prison populations by at least 12 percent in the past decade by making similar changes, according to state public safety data cited by the report. Those states saw no increase in crime, according to the report.

News Article Grand Rapids Press March 4, 2010

Study claims reducing Michigan's inmate count has not affected public safety

As state lawmakers decide whether to reinstate "good-time" credits for prisoners, studies by a national organization show the state has lowered its prison population while maintaining public safety.

The Sentencing Project said the reports showed a successful trend toward sentencing reform and reduced imprisonment to cut costs.

"More recent efforts by managers at the Michigan Department of Corrections are helping to reduce prison admissions, increase parole release, and provide a statewide re-entry initiative to increase parole success and avoid returning people to prison," a report said.

News Article March 4, 2010

Michigan: Michigan Gets Highest Rank in Nation for Safe Prisoner Releases

According to two new reports, Michigan leads the country in safely releasing prisoners back into society. The two studies were conducted nationally by Justice Strategies, and the Sentencing Project. Both companies advocate for criminal justice reform. Their findings were released Wednesday by the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency. According to the organization the numbers show Michigan has done well in downsizing its prison system.

Elizabeth Arnovits, Executive Director, Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency: "Basically what it says about Michigan is that we have done a very thoughtful and very good job of reducing prison populations, making sure the right people are in prison and making sure people don't stay longer than is necessary, and reducing cost at the same time."

To conduct the study data was gathered from Michigan's correctional system, and compared with other prisons from across the nation. According to the report from 2006-2009 the state reduced its prison population by 12%, without any increase in crime. The decline is credited to changes in sentencing, the restructure of community corrections planning, and the success of the state's prison re-entry program. But not everyone is buying the report in its entirety.

News Article North Country Gazette March 3, 2010

Fiscal Crisis, Incarceration Rates Spur Downsizing

As states grapple with the fiscal crisis and confront costly and overburdened criminal justice systems, two reports released Wednesday by The Sentencing Project offer roadmaps to successful prison downsizing that maintain public safety.

The reports document a growing trend to reform sentencing policies and scale back the use of imprisonment in order to control spending.

“Downscaling Prisons: Lessons from Four States,” released by Justice Strategies and The Sentencing Project, finds that four states – Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York – have reduced their prison populations by 5% to 20% since 1999 without any increases in crime. This came about at a time when the national prison population increased by 12%; and in six states it increased by more than 40%. The reductions were achieved through a mix of legislative reforms and changes in practice by corrections and parole agencies. The reforms included: Read more »

JS Publication March 3, 2010

Downscaling Prisons: Lessons from Four States

Downsizing Prisons is a collaborative research effort between Justice Strategies and The Sentencing Project that examines four states – Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York -- that have moved against the growth trend in state prison populations of 12% since 2000. These states achieved significant declines in prison populations and offer lessons to policymakers in other states.