Crime, Cost, and Consequences

Is it Time to Get Smart on Crime?

Published Date : March 24, 2013
Author(s) : Ben Forman and John Larivee

As the title suggests, the report calls into question Massachusetts’s current approach to corrections, which favors long prison stays at the expense of treatment, reentry programming, and post-release supervision. Without a change in course, the report concludes that Massachusetts will spend more than $2 billion over the next decade on corrections policies and practices that provide limited public safety benefit for the taxpayer.

The report shows that models developed elsewhere, including in many “red states” that have halted prison construction, reformed sentencing practices, and invested in evidence-based programs, provide Massachusetts with sound alternatives. Instead of spending more on what doesn’t work, states like Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas have cut corrections budgets and increased public safety for their residents.

Crime, Cost, and Consequences lays the groundwork for a multi-year campaign to make the Commonwealth a leader in the field of corrections. This effort is spearheaded by the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Coalition, committed prosecutors and corrections practitioners, defense lawyers and community organizers, and businessmen and women, working together to reform the Massachusetts criminal justice system. MassINC will support the work of the Coalition with additional research, polling, and civic events.

Meet The Authors

Ben Forman

Research Director, MassINC

John Larivee

CEO, Community Resources for Justice

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