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6/12/2014

Success of Governor Corbett’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative Receives National Recognition​

News for Immediate Release

June 12, 2014

Success of Governor Corbett’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative Receives National Recognition​

Washington, D.C. - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today, along with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, was recognized by the National Reentry Resource Center for his leadership in the area of criminal justice reform. 

“I am honored to be here today to share the effective work that our criminal justice officials have done and continue to do,” Corbett said. 

Also at today’s event, the National Reentry Resource Center released results of a new report highlighting new data from a large cross-section of states showing dramatic reduction in recidivism rates. Pennsylvania, along with seven other states was highlighted in this report for reduction in the state’s recidivism rate.

When Corbett took office in 2011, all state agencies were placed on a tight budget to reduce the $4.2 billion deficit Pennsylvania faced. 

“I had every agency review their operations and spending in an effort to operate more efficiently and effectively without jeopardizing customer expectation,” Corbett said. “Our criminal justice system was no exception.”

When Corbett took office, his administration inherited a corrections system that was growing by 1,500 inmates a year, roughly the size of one Pennsylvania prison.

Corbett called on all members of the state’s criminal justice system – from legislators and district attorneys to corrections and parole experts to sentencing judges – to form a bi-partisan group to review the system and determine how it could be improved.

Guided by the Council of State Governments, Pennsylvania embarked upon a six-month process that involved meetings, offender and crime victim input, data evaluation and eventually legislation that created the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach that ensures policymaking is based on a comprehensive analysis of criminal justice data and the latest research about what works to reduce crime.

“As a result of the many JRI initiatives, we are seeing a reduction in inmate recidivism and we are seeing a slowing in the growth rate of our inmate population,” said Corbett.  “These reforms are saving taxpayers’ money, holding offenders accountable, making our communities safer and building a stronger Pennsylvania.’’

Today, Pennsylvania has approximately 200 fewer inmates than when Corbett first took office. This is significant when compared to the average annual growth rate of 1,500 inmates per year.

To see the new report from the Council of State Governments, visit their website at www.csg.org

Established by the Second Chance Act, the National Reentry Resource Center’s (NRRC) mission is to advance the reentry field by disseminating information to and from policymakers, practitioners, and researchers and by promoting evidence-based principles and best practices. The NRRC is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and is a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in cooperation with the Urban Institute, the National Association of Counties, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the American Probation and Parole Association, and other key partner organizations. To learn more about the National Reentry Resource Center, please visit csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc.

Media contact

Owen McEvoy, Governor’s Press Office,  717-783-1116

Susan McNaughton, Department of Corrections, 717-728-4025                 

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