The Patrick Administration has estimated that, if current criminal justice policies are not changed dramatically, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will have to spend $2 billion over the next ten years, to build 10,000 new prison units. We already have one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world – on par with French Guiana and Kazakhstan. There are so few resources, and so many barriers to successful re-entry, that most prisoners released from DYS, county jails, and prison recidivate within 3 years.
Other states – including New York, Washington and Texas – have overhauled their criminal justice systems using practices that are proven effective, and so reduced their prison populations that they have closed entire prisons, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.
What reforms make sense?
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