BI customer Linda Penner, Chief Probation Officer in Fresno County, is one of many experts highlighted in a new video released by the Pew Center on the States, a nonprofit that works to advance state policies that benefit the public interest. Penner discusses how the county implemented evidence-based programs at the county’s day reporting program, operated by BI, as part of the state’s shift of funding to local sources to implement programs that can reduce recidivism. Evidence-based programs are proven to change criminal thinking, which reduces repeat offenses. In California, the state saved $180 million by transferring responsibility of probationers to local control; in turn, the state provided counties with $90 million to implement these programs (read “Implement a Day Reporting Center in 60 Days”).
This informative video also highlights the value of risk assessment to determine if a person needs to be incarcerated or directed to a program that can change their criminal behavior. Ed Latessa, a leading expert on risk assessment, says in the video that matching risk factors to an effective program enhances public safety and saves money.
Adam Gelb, a Pew Center policy analyst, says the Pew Center estimates states spend $50 billion a year on corrections, yet more than four out of ten prisoners wind up back behind bars within three years of release. States can break this cycle of recidivism, and save money, by implementing evidence-based programs and policies including risk assessment, fiscal incentives and swift and certain sanctions.