Criminal Justice Experts Explore Cost-Cutting Prision Reform

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For Massachusetts to stop having one of the nation’s most expensive and ineffective prison, probation and parole systems, the state needs to follow the lead of Connecticut.

That was the conclusion of a criminal justice conference recently held in Boston.

Lawmakers, legal experts and members of the Boston-based criminal justice policy coalition gathered at that conference to learn how other states are cutting prison costs and crimes.

William Carbone, executive director of Connecticut Court Services, says what’s called evidence-based justice has dropped his state’s prison population so dramatically in just three years that the state is likely to close two prisons.

“There’s plenty of models out there for how you can change behavior from law-breaking to law-abiding that are far, far less expensive and much more effective than putting people in jail,” Carbone said.

More supportive re-entry systems and alternatives to prison are documented to cost almost six times less than incarceration.

This program aired on July 4, 2011.


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