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In the decade prior to Utah’s engagement with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), the state’s prison population grew 18% and was on track to increase another 37% in the next 20 years at a cost of $500 million.

In 2015, Utah lawmakers passed House Bill 348, JRI legislation intended to reduced recidivism and hold individuals accountable while controlling the state’s prison spending.

Two years after implementing HB 348, Utah’s prison population fell 12%, and the state diverted more people convicted of nonviolent offenses to alternatives to incarceration.

Additionally, as a result of the legislation:

Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) provided technical assistance to support Utah as the state implemented HB 348 to expand behavioral health treatment, focus resources on serious threats to public safety, and strengthen community supervision.

Examples of the assistance CJI provided to help Utah reach the goals of HB 348:

Barbara Pierce
Director of Justice Initiatives

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-ZB-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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