Saturday, June 30, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, June 30, 2007


NCJ 218591
Steve Aos; Marna Miller; Elizabeth Drake
Evidence-Based Public Policy Options to Reduce Future Prison Construction, Criminal Justice Costs, and Crime Rates
Washington State Institute for Public Policy

This report presents the results from a study conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy on whether evidence-based and cost-beneficial policy options exist to reduce prison construction, criminal justice costs, and crime rates, and the total impact of alternative implementation scenarios. The results suggest that some evidence-based programs can reduce crime, but others cannot. Economically attractive evidence-based options in three areas were found: adult corrections programs, juvenile corrections programs, and prevention. Per dollar of spending, several of the successful programs produced favorable returns on investment. Public policies incorporating these options can yield positive outcomes for Washington. The study indicates that if Washington successfully implements a moderate-to-aggressive portfolio of evidence-based options, a significant level of future prison construction can be avoided, taxpayers can save about $2 billion dollars, and crime rates can be reduced. Current long-term forecasts indicate that Washington State will need two new prisons by 2020 and possibly another prison by 2030. With the cost of a typical new prison about $250 million to build and $45 million a year to operate, the Washington State Legislature directed a study be conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to test whether evidence-based public policy options could: (1) lower the anticipated need to build new prisons, (2) reduce State and local fiscal costs of the criminal justice system, and (3) contribute to reduced crime rates. Exhibits and appendixes

NCJ 218630
Patricia L. Fanflik; Nicole E. Johnson; David R. Troutman; Frank C. Skinner
Drug Prosecution and Prevention Across the Nation: Prosecutors' Perceptions of Drug-Related Crime and Strategies to Combat the Problem in Their Communities
National District Attorneys Association

This report presents results of a national survey of prosecutors assessing their current efforts in implementing and operating innovative drug-related crime prevention, intervention, and prosecution programs. Results of the survey indicated that the majority of participants perceived the drug and drug-related crime problem in their community to be an extremely serious problem. The majority (64.8 percent) also believed the drug problem in their jurisdiction had worsened over the last 5 years, while 28.1 percent reported their drug-related crime problem had remained stable. Only 7.1 percent reported the drug-related crime problem in their community had improved. The most commonly reported drugs surfacing in communities were marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription drugs, heroin, and ecstasy. There was some variation by jurisdiction size, with smaller jurisdictions most likely to experience problems with marijuana and larger jurisdictions most likely to experience problems with cocaine. In terms of community impact, 64 percent of prosecutors reported that methamphetamine had an extremely negative impact on public safety whereas marijuana and cocaine were seen as having only a moderate impact on the public safety. Variations were also observed by region, with the West, Midwest, and South reporting significant problems with methamphetamine and the Northeast reporting only small problems with methamphetamine. The most commonly reported prevention and treatment efforts of prosecutors were: (1) Drug Court; (2) more restorative and community-type prosecutions; (3) increased prosecution for drug-related crimes; (4) increased use of Asset Forfeiture; and (5) greater collaboration with other agencies. Mailed surveys were completed by 563 local and State prosecutors’ offices throughout the Nation. The survey focused on prosecutions’ perceptions of the scope of the drug problem in their jurisdictions and asked about any programs their office had actively undertaken to combat the drug problem. Prosecutors were asked to provide a detailed description of their programs and were asked to submit any written materials, such as brochures. Exhibits, references, appendix

NCJ 218589
Richard Hayes; Keith Dowd; Erin Collins
New North Carolinians: Doing Justice for All in the Criminal Justice System
North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission

This federally supported survey study examined the impact of the rapidly growing Hispanic and Latino populations on North Carolina’s criminal justice system and its ab This study found that nearly all criminal justice agencies and practitioners surveyed in North Carolina have had contact with members of their Hispanic community, as well as people with limited or no English skill. Agencies and practitioners almost uniformly understand the need for bilingual employees and cultural diversity training. Overcoming culturally learned fears of criminal justice systems in their native countries should be a goal of Hispanic community groups and every criminal justice agency. Many agencies are active in community outreach to assist new North Carolinians in understanding and trusting that the criminal justice system will be fair to everyone. The growth in North Carolina’s Hispanic population has far outpaced projections from a decade ago. In addition, the limited English Proficiency (LEP) portion of the North Carolina Hispanic and Latino population is also rapidly increasing, causing the need for accessibility services, whenever it is reasonable. Reasonable is a key provision under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This study’s goal, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, was to focus attention on accepting the fact that North Carolina is changing and that a substantial portion of its population has moved here from non-English speaking countries, where little faith exists in law enforcement, courts, and corrections. A survey questionnaire was administered with responses received from 104 sheriffs, police chiefs, probation district managers, district attorneys, clerks, and magistrates from 54 selected countries. Seventy responses from the pilot study were included in the data. Charts, tables, appendixes and references ility to provide services.

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