Sentencing Reform Commission.ppt by longze569


									Strategies for Successful
   Sentencing Reform

Presentation to S.C. Sentencing Reform Commission by
                 S.C. Public Defenders

   Chris Scalzo, Charles Grose & Ashley Pennington
                    March 5, 2009
        This Presentation Will:

• Recommend How to Develop a Strategy for
  Successful Sentencing Reform

• Recommend Alternatives to Incarceration

• Suggest Reforms for the Prison System
Developing a Successful Strategy

   •   Define Success

   • Develop Objectives

   • Develop Principles

   • Adopt a Strategy
   First-Things-First: Define Success

Not Knowing Where You’re Going is a
 Recipe for Getting Lost.
   How Should We Define Success?
As Sentencing That
     • protects public safety

     • makes efficient use of tax dollars

     • reduces recidivism

     • provides effective sentencing options for fair
   Make This a Shared Definition

Everyone Should Use the Same Definition
     •   DOC
     •   Probation
     •   Court
     •   Solicitor
     •   Defense Attorney
     •   All Stakeholders
    Develop Objectives for Success

Our Objectives Should Be

    •   Greater Public Safety
    •   Reduced Recidivism
    •   More Efficient Use of Tax Dollars
    •   Improved Sentencing Options
     Greater Public Safety

No Clearer First Principle for CJS
     • Protect Public At-Large
     • Protect Victims
       Reduce Recidivism

Recidivism = Internal Barometer of CJS

  Higher Rates Mean
       • Greater Threat to Public Safety
       • More Demand on Public Resources
       • Less Effective CJS
    More Efficient Use of Tax Dollars

We Can Make Smart Choices About Money

We Should Make Smart Choices About Money

Tax Dollars Are Not Unlimited!
Put More Tools In Sentencing Toolbox

Sentencing Options are Tools
     • If Used Properly—Tools Can Increase Our
     • If an Available Tool Is Not In the Toolbox—
       Effectiveness Suffers
    Evaluating Sentencing Tools
If a Tool No Longer Works
                —Remove It from Toolbox
                —And Get a Tool that Works!

If a Tool is Outdated
                —Replace it With a New or Improved Tool
                —Stop Using Outdated Tools!

If a New Task Demands a New Tool—Get One!
  Adopt Principles for Meeting Objectives

These Principles Are:

1. Incarcerate Those Who Need to be
   Incarcerated—But Only Those Who Need to
   Be Incarcerated
  Adopt Principles for Meeting Objectives

These Principles Are:

2. Identify What Reduces Recidivism—and
   What Does Not
  Adopt Principles for Meeting Objectives

These Principles Are:

3. Evaluate Sentencing Options Based on What
   Provides Best Outcome
  Adopt Principles for Meeting Objectives

These Principles Are:

4. Make Evidence-Based Decisions
     Incarcerate Only People Who Need

People Who are a Physical Threat to Others
           —Need to Be Incarcerated

People Who Choose Not to Conform Behavior
           —Need to Be Incarcerated
Don’t Incarcerate the Wrong People

Doing So Does Not

    • Increase Public Safety

    • Reduce Recidivism

    • Increase Efficient Use of Tax Dollars
   Identify What Reduces Recidivism

Ask the Right Question:

  “What will reduce recidivism and what will not?”
   It’s the Only Rational Thing to Do
If We Want to Reduce Recidivism
       – We Have to Educate Ourselves on What In Fact Reduces

       – We Cannot Continue to Do Things That Do Not Reduce

       – There Are Tools and Research Available to Help
           Is Intuition Enough?
“Create Longer Sentences—That Will Reduce Crime For

“Yeah, Create Mandatory Minimums That Will Reduce
  Crime, Too.”

This Approach Makes Intuitive Sense
     • People Will Stop Committing Crimes Once They Find
       Out How Much Time They’ll Spend in Prison
      Intuition Over Validation
The Problem Is People Who Commit Crimes
  Don’t Share Our Intuitions!

The Bigger Problem…
No Effort Was Made Before Implementation to
  Validate the Intuition With Data
Federal Sentencing Guidelines Put In Place in
     • Based On The Intuition That Longer, Harsher Sentences
       Will Deter Crime

     • State & Federal Prison Populations Have Increased Six-
       Fold Since the 1970s
       Truth In Sentencing in SC
TIS Developed From an Intuition, Too
     • Should Do The Time One Was Ordered To Do
     • Stiffer Penalties Deter Crime and Reduce Recidivism

These Intuitions Were Not Validated, Either
                  Result for SC
SCDC Population Grew Twenty-fold
     • 1997 TIS Population = 540
     • 2008 TIS Population = 10, 328

SCDC: Overall 3-year Recidivism Rate Increased
     • FY1997 it was 28%
     • FY2003 it was 32%
  Focus On What Produces the Best Outcome

Ask the Right Question:

“Does this sentencing option meet our
  objectives or is it counterproductive?”
Example of Counterproductive Option
Conviction for Drug Offense = Loss of DL

Decreases Ability to Comply with Probation
     •   Virtually Eliminates Transportation
     •   Leaves Near Inability to Report
     •   Huge Hurdle to Employment
     •   Hobson’s Choice: Comply or DUS
    Make Evidence-Based Decisions
Before Using a Sentencing Option Analyze It
     • Will it produce the results we want?
     • Will it further our objectives?

Answer the Questions With Evidence
     • The Statistical Tools Are Available
     • The Data Is Available
     • The Experts Are Available
    Decision-Making in Courtroom

What Sentencing Options …
     • Should Prosecutor Make Available?
     • Defense Attorney Advocate For?
     • Judge Order?

Answering Requires Informed Decision Making
   Maximize Skills of Judicial System

Lawyers & Judges are Not Trained …
     •   Social Workers
     •   Criminologists
     •   Psychologists
     •   Penologists

We Are Well Trained to Use Evidence, Though
    Adopt a Strategy for Implementing &
             Improving Reform
•    identify all the agencies that should be involved in
     the criminal justice system,
•    establish clearly defined missions for those
•    incorporate those agencies into the sentencing
     reform process,
•    establish benchmarks to measure progress,
•    make decisions based on evidence, and
•    declare that sentencing reform should take place as
     an on-going endeavor.
The Sentencing Reform Commission
   should be made permanent.
        The Commission Should
Promote effective communication between the
  agencies in the criminal justice system

  – Access to information

  – Collaboration between agencies to propose
    solutions for individual offenders

  – Joint training
       The Commission Should
• Create an environment where Judges can
  make evidence based decisions about

Promote individual responsibility of offenders
  and ensure the protection of victims’ rights
            Look at the data…
• Look at existing numbers

• Track outcomes: recidivism (minor and major)

• Track to see what is working and what is not
Alternatives to Incarceration
      Alternatives to Incarceration
•   Diversion Programs
•   Treatment Courts
•   Probation
•   Work Release
           Diversion Programs
• Pre-trial Intervention (PTI) works
  – Promotes individual responsibility
  – Restitution to victims
  – Non-conviction protects jobs
  – Conserves court time
• Increase availability of PTI
  – Allow PTI for General Sessions even if the person
    has been through PTI in Magistrate or Municipal
               Diversion Programs
• Restitution in consideration for dismissal
   – Minor property offenses
   – If the incident is more “civil” than criminal
   – Non-violent disputes between family members of
• Advantages
   –   Promotes individual responsibility
   –   Restitution to victims
   –   Non-conviction protects jobs
   –   Conserves court time
                   Treatment Courts
• Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, CDV Courts
• The success of treatment courts comes from cooperation
  between agencies to provide current, accurate and complete
  information to the Judge
• The Commission should increase the availability and expand
  the access to treatment courts
• Advantages
   –   Individual responsibility
   –   Treats the underlying problem
   –   Avoids incarceration
   –   Reduces recidivism
• The Probation Agent should be the Court’s
  method for monitoring compliance with the
  Court’s sentence.

• The Commission should stress Probation’s
  mission includes rehabilitation.
    Restore Probation Resources
• Restitution Centers
  – Non-incarceration, structured, residential settings
    where offenders live, work, and pay restitution
    and court costs.
• Community Control Center
  – Non-incarceration, structured, residential program
    that provided intensive, in-patient drug and
    alcohol treatment
              Other Agencies
• Department of Mental Health (DMH)
  – Alcohol and drug treatment
  – Mental health counseling
  – Provides treatment during pre-trial detention
• Vocational Rehabilitation
  – GED programs
  – Vocational training
• Employment Security Commission
 New Probation Violation Procedures
• The probation agent should prepare a detailed
  report for the court
  – Background information on the offender
  – Reports from other agencies identifying issues unique
    to that individual and making recommendations
  – Propose solutions to the Court
     • Consider non-incarceration alternatives
     • Detail why non-incarceration alternatives are not
       appropriate and make specific recommendations for services
       during incarceration
   Study Collateral Consequences of
• Driver’s license suspension – Drug conviction?
  – Look for a job
  – Getting to and from work
     • Provisional licenses can be inadequate
  – Driving on the job
  – Support families
• Create a “first time offender” status
  – conviction can be expunged after completing the
                Work Release
• Sometimes short (6-12 mo) periods of
  incarceration are appropriate in lieu of SCDC,
  often times in connection with probation.
• State and Counties should increase the
  availability of work release
  – Not available in all counties
  – Standardize around the state
                   Work Release
• Advantages
  – People stay in the community and keep jobs
  – Promotes individual responsibility
     •   Consequences for criminal conduct
     •   People can still support families
     •   Inmates contribute to cost of WR
     •   Can tie in needed rehab at night and offer mentoring
Prison Reform
          Prison Reform
 Mandatory minimum sentences, no
   parole sentences, and lengthy
sentences (particularly in drug cases)
    do not reduce recidivism and
   increase the size of the prison
              Prison Reform
• Abolish mandatory minimum sentences

• Abolish no parole (85% sentences)

• Reduce lengthy, mandatory sentences in drug
            Sentencing Reform
• Increase the use of split sentences

• Create a three year Youthful Offender
  Sentence for violent crimes
  – H3030
• Allow judges more discretion to recommend
  specific programs during incarceration
               More Programs
• Increase the use of the Addictions Treatment
  Unit (ATU)
   – Increase the available beds for adults from 250 to
• Education
• Skills training
• Work Release
Provide for Re-Entry
                           President George W. Bush
                            2004 State of the Union Address

          “Tonight I ask you to consider another group of Americans in need of
help. This year, some 600,000 inmates will be released from prison back
into society. We know from long experience that if they can't find work, or a
home, or help, they are much more likely to commit crime and return to prison.
So tonight, I propose a four-year, $300 million prisoner re-entry initiative to
expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing, and
to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based
          America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the
prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.”
    Can we be more effective?
• Can we be “tough” and “smart on crime” at
  the same time?

• When the debt is paid and someone really
  wants to fit in, what should a correctional
  system or community offer?

• What could we gain? A good citizen, neighbor,
  father, community leader?
 Four (4) Keys: Before & After Release

• The Individual’s Will to Change Habits and
• Real Employment
• Mentoring and Involvement in an
  “Accountability” Community (ex. AA, church)
• Opportunities for Service & Leadership
    Employment reduces recidivism
•   Need for birth certificates, SSN, SC ID card
•   Need for Driver’s license to get to work
•   Build on existing access to education
•   Build on existing access to voc rehab
•   Every inmate needs a job in prison
•   Inmates need to plan for release
   Mentoring can change attitude
• Collaborate with legitimate organizations (AA,
  NA, churches, synagogues, mosques, and
  other pro-social support groups)
• Encourage pre-release mentoring
• Link to welcoming support group at release
• Encourage service to the community as a way
  of life
Sentencing Reform Commission

        Public Defenders
         March 5, 2009
        The Commission Should
• Invest each agency in the Criminal Justice
  System with responsibility for success in
  reducing recidivism.

  – By establishing a mission statement for each

  – By setting goals and benchmarks for each agency.

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