Restoring Hope, Creating Opportunity: A White Paper on the Need for Comprehensive Reentry Services and Progressive Justice Reform in Illinois
Date:  11-08-2018

Safer Foundation concludes that if recidivism trends don't change over next 5 years, recidivism will cost Illinois taxpayers $13 billion
From the Safer Foundation report:

I. Overview

For the last decade, mass incarceration – and many of the social issues that perpetuate it – has increasingly become part of the public discourse in the United States. Throughout the U.S., governments at the federal, state and local levels are in search of solutions to mass incarceration. Policymakers often focus on addressing contributing factors such as: biased policing; the lack of community investment in poor, black, and brown neighborhoods; gaps in educational attainment; and, economic hardship and poverty. But the driver that is just as important as others and too often goes unmentioned is recidivism and the role it plays as a driver of violence, poor health outcomes, unemployment and poverty in communities of color. The magnitude of America’s recidivism problem is underscored by the unavoidable fact that, if the justice system did not incarcerate a single person from this day forward, and if the current federal, state and local policies and programmatic practices remained the place, 2.4 million people would still have to figure out how to reenter society on their own.

Everyone suffers as a result of justice involvement, including those directly impacted and their families, as well as their communities, and taxpayers. U.S. taxpayers spend more annually to incarcerate than the federal government spends on education.1 The money spent on incarceration would be better spent on training or education, critical infrastructure projects, or alternatives to incarceration that could help lower the rate of recidivism, improve public health, narrow the skills gap, mitigate violence and build economic mobility. Mass incarceration also contributes to the destruction of families. Far too many kids are losing their parents, resulting in extensive social and economic consequences. From a public safety perspective, law enforcement spends too much time and effort policing people who cannot re-integrate successfully without the proper assistance. Continue reading >>>