Weekly News Brief
Report Highlights Justice Reinvestment—This week the Council of State Governments Justice Center released the Report of the National Summit on Justice Reinvestment and Public Safety. The report was prepared with support from OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Pew Center, the Public Welfare Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. It discusses promising practices and the latest knowledge about increasing public safety, cutting corrections, reducing recidivism and applying the justice reinvestment approach nationwide. Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending and reinvest savings in strategies designed to increase public safety. The report and additional information about justice reinvestment is available at: http://www.ojp.gov/BJA/topics/justice_reinvestment.html.
BJS Releases Tool for Analyzing Recidivism Data—The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released the first in a series of data analysis tools that will enable the public to explore the recidivism patterns of persons involved with the criminal justice system. The new Prisoner Recidivism Analysis Tool allows users to conduct customized analyses of a large database describing the recidivism of prisoners released in 1994 and followed for a three-year period after release. In 2012, BJS plans to update the tool with new recidivism data on prisoners released in 2005. Users may examine the recidivism patterns of released prisoners based on one or more attributes, such as gender, age at release, race, Hispanic origin, commitment offense, sentence length, prior arrests and prior commitments. For example, while published reports document the recidivism patterns of women leaving prison, the new tool will allow users to determine the recidivism patterns of younger and older women, women committed for a specific offense or women with different criminal histories. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov.
NIJ Updates Report about DNA Backogs—The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released Making Sense of DNA Backlogs, 2010 – Myths vs. Reality, which updates its 2009 report about DNA backlogs in state and local crime laboratories. The 2010 report examines the myths and realities of DNA backlogs in crime laboratories, and explains why backlogs persist despite the substantial influx of funding and increased capacity to analyze samples.