Criminal Justice Reform in Indiana

Problem: In 2010, the state of Indiana began to realize that it was spending a great amount on its criminal justice system and not getting much back from it in return. That year, the governor asked organizations to research different ways that could improve the system, and reduce recidivism. Through their research, these organizations found many problems with Indiana’s criminal justice system. They found that of the entire population of inmates that were released in 2013, 37% of them recidivated and returned to prison. Of those that recidivated, 47% returned due to them committing a new crime, while 52% returned due to a violation of their parole or probation. Meaning that this number could’ve been a lot lower had parole and probation not had so many technical requirements. The study also found that the younger the offender, the more likely they are to be incarcerated again within three years. Which opens up the door for a lifetime of recidivism. Finally, the study found that inmates who have contact with their family and friends and participate in work release programs while they were incarcerated are less likely to return to jail or prison.

Solution: The Indiana DOC has created a program called the Community Transition Program (CTP). The purpose of this program is to successfully integrate offenders back into their communities after they have served their time in jail or prison. The offenders that are eligible for CTP are those who have been sentenced to two years or less or have active warrants, pending charges or detainers.

Results: With these programs that have been implemented by the state of Indiana, they have seen a considerable drop in relapse of offenders. Not only are these programs helping ex-offenders stay out of prison, they are also helping those who are eligible for CTP stay connected with their family and community which is an important part of helping people stay out of jail and prison.

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