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Crime and Justice

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The criminal justice system's actions in both preventing and responding to criminal behavior have implications for the safety, well-being, and financial stability of communities throughout the country.

In an era of diminishing state and federal budgets and limited resources for community services, it is critical that research and analysis is available to guide the allocation of scarce criminal justice resources in a manner that yields the most beneficial impact on the individuals and jurisdictions affected by crime.

Justice Policy Center

Researchers in the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center produce such research, evaluating programs and analyzing data in an effort to guide federal, state, and local stakeholders in making sound decisions that will increase the safety of communities nationwide.

Featured Justice Policy Center Research

 
Viewing 1-5 of 594. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

Prison Inmates' Prerelease Application for Medicaid: Take-up Rates in Oregon (Research Report)
Kamala Mallik-Kane, Akiva Liberman, Lisa Dubay, Jesse Jannetta

People returning from prison to the community have historically been uninsured, despite having physical and behavioral health problems that may perpetuate a cycle of relapse and reoffending. We describe Oregon's pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) process to enroll released prisoners into its state-financed Medicaid program for childless adults. Sizeable numbers participated, including many with mental health and substance abuse problems. Persons leaving prison were as likely as the general population to submit Medicaid applications and less likely to be denied. Challenges arose when the application process straddled prison release, but the ACA simplifies the process and may increase enrollment efficiency.

Posted to Web: August 05, 2014Publication Date: August 01, 2014

Lessons from the States: Responsible Prison Reform (Testimony)
Nancy G. La Vigne

In this testimony before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, Urban's Director of the Justice Policy Center, Nancy La Vigne, highlights the lessons learned from responsible prison reform in the states and discusses the federal prison system, its challenges and opportunities for reform. She also discusses the importance of both front- and back-end changes to yield meaningful and lasting reforms.

Posted to Web: July 15, 2014Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Examining Racial Disparities in the Sixth Judicial District of Iowa’s Probation Revocation Outcomes (Research Report)
Helen Ho, Justin Breaux, Jesse Jannetta, Malinda Lamb

The Urban Institute examined racial disparities in the probation revocation rates in Iowa’s Sixth Judicial District. Black probationers in the study sample were revoked at significantly higher rates than both white and Hispanic probationers. Disparities in revocation outcomes persisted after controlling for available legal and demographic factors. A little over half of the black-white disparity in revocation rates was attributable to group differences in characteristics other than race. This brief situates the study in the context of the SJD’s past efforts addressing disparities in probation processes and outcomes and discusses potential future directions in light of the study findings.

Posted to Web: July 08, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Probation Revocation: Summary Findings and Implications from a Multisite Study (Summary)
Jesse Jannetta, Justin Breaux, Helen Ho, Jeremy Porter

This brief presents summary findings from an Urban Institute study examining the degree of racial and ethnic disparity in probation revocation outcomes and the drivers of that disparity in four diverse probation jurisdictions. Black probationers were revoked at higher rates than white and Hispanic probationers in all study sites. Differences in risk assessment scores and criminal history were major contributors to the black–white disparity. Results for disparity to the disadvantage of Hispanic probationers were mixed. The brief concludes with a discussion of policy implications for probation and the criminal justice system as a whole.

Posted to Web: July 08, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Responding to Racial Disparities in the Multnomah County’s Probation Revocation Outcomes (Research Report)
Justin Breaux, Kimberly Bernard, Helen Ho, Jesse Jannetta

The Urban Institute examined racial disparities in probation revocation rates in Multnomah County, Oregon. Black probationers in the study sample were twice as likely to experience a revocation as were white and Hispanic probationers, although the base rate of revocations was very low for all groups. Disparities in revocation outcomes persisted after controlling for available legal and demographic factors. This brief situates the study in the context of Multnomah County’s past efforts to improve probation practices and address disparities in probation processes and outcomes. It discusses policy implications and future directions for improvement in light of the study findings.

Posted to Web: July 08, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

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