The Impact of Police on Criminal Justice Reform
Date:  08-01-2019

Evidence from Cincinnati, Ohio shows both crime and arrests were reduced in Cincinnati even after a jail closure
From the research paper by Robin S. Engel, Nicholas Corsaro and M. Murat Ozer as published in the American Society of Criminology & Public Policy:

Research Summary

Despite signicant national reductions in crime during the past three decades, a comparable reduction in adult arrest rates has not occurred. In addition, scant attention has been paid to the role of the police in pretrial justice and other criminal justice reform efforts, despite their role as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system. A key inquiry that must be addressed by both academics and practitioners is whether it is possible to reduce crime and the number of arrests simultaneously. Cincinnati (Hamilton County),Ohio, provided a unique opportunity to examine this unanswered question when it closed the Queensgate Correctional Facility in 2008, thereby reducing the available jail space in the county by 36%. By relying on an interrupted time-series analysis, our findings show that contrary to public concern, both crime and arrests were reduced in Cincinnati even after the jail closure. Specifically, the Cincinnati Police Department reported a statistically significant decrease in felony arrests, and a non significant decline in misdemeanor arrests, while maintaining a continued (non significant) decline in violence and property crimes. Importantly, our findings demonstrate that the previous existent downward trend in Cincinnati reported crimes was not was not interrupted with the loss of more than one third of the available jail space in Hamilton County.

Read the full report here.