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Through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), state leaders work with experts to conduct agency-spanning data analysis; develop and implement data-driven, tailored solutions to address complicated criminal justice challenges; and maximize resources to achieve stronger and safer communities.

States identify the factors that contribute to high rates of prison and jail admissions, recidivism, and corrections costs, as well as more focused concerns such as returns to prison and jail from community supervision and high use of behavioral health and criminal justice resources by specific populations. Leaders use this information to prioritize incarcerating people who pose a serious risk to public safety and use a combination of accountability and treatment interventions for other people. This generates savings that are reinvested in proven strategies to reduce recidivism, support victims of crime, and maintain public safety.

JRI is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance—with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and Arnold Ventures—and utilizes experts from The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Crime and Justice Institute to provide technical assistance to state partners interested in using data to analyze and improve their justice systems. 

Forty-four states have used JRI to pursue policies to improve their justice systems, and, in some cases, reduce the total prison population. Through JRI, states have averted costs or saved more than $3.2 billion cumulatively, allowing states to invest hundreds of millions in effective supervision and treatment programs to make communities safer, with each state having the flexibility to determine how to direct these savings to achieve its public safety goals. It is projected that savings will grow to over $4 billion by 2024 as a result of JRI.

Selected JRI Accomplishments

The interactive JRI map features achievements for all states. Here are some notable examples.

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