Achieving these goals through prison reform usually falls within two broad categories.
First, ensuring access to programs which help individuals gain knowledge, skills, job training, and positive values during their period of incarceration.
These many barriers negatively impact public safety and inhibit those with a criminal record from achieving their full potential.
Prison programming is an effective way to help provide a person who is incarcerated with the crucial skills, education, and character development he or she will need to be successful when leaving the walls of a prison.
Porporino, National Institute of Corrections Stemming the Tide: Strategies to Reduce the Growth and Cut the Cost of the Federal Prison System November, 2013: Julie Samuels, Nancy La Vigne, and Samuel Taxy, Urban Institute Smarter and Tougher on Crime August 12, 2013: Attorney General Eric Holder, Remarks to American Bar Association on the initial package of reforms dubbed the Justice Department’s “Smart on Crime” initiative. Pages 14-15 specifically address older people in prison.
RAPP response to Attorney General Eric Holder, “Smarter & Tougher on Crime” August 12, 2013: Mujahid Farid New York State COMPAS-Probation Risk and Need Assessment Study: Examining the Recidivism Scale’s Effectiveness and Predictive Accuracy August 2013: Prepared by Sharon Lansing, Ph. “You Can’t Get There From Here: Elderly Prisoners, Prison Downsizing, and the Insufficiency of Cost Cutting Advocacy” April, 2013: Elizabeth Rapaport, University of New Mexico School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series “The Dose-Response of Time Served in Prison on Mortality: New York State, 1989-203” March, 2013: Evelyn J.
“Failure should not be an option: Grading the parole systems of all 50 states” February 26, 2019: Jorge Renaud, Prison Policy Initiative (spoiler alert: NYS gets a D-) RAPP Testimony to NYS Legislature’s 2019 Public Protection Budget Hearing January 29, 2019: Jose Saldana and David George, “New York State Parole Board: Failures in Staffing and Performance” August, 2018: The Parole Preparation Project and the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign “State Medical and Geriatric Parole Laws” August, 2018: National Conference of State Legislatures “Ending Perpetual Punishment: The case for commutations for people in Michigan prisons” August, 2018: American Friends Service Committee “Modernizing Parole Statutes: Guidance from Evidence-Based Practices” August 3, 2018: Catherine C. Kerrison, Ronet Bachman, Raymond Paternoster, The Liman Report: Moving Criminal Justice Fall 2016: Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, Yale University A By-Product of Mass Incarceration: New York’s Parole System in Need of Repair July, 2016: Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP RAPP Submission to the UN Committee on Torture June 27, 2016: Tomiko Shine, DC RAPP Economic Perspectives on Incarceration and the Criminal Justice System April 2016: Executive Office of the President of the United States U. Sentencing Commission Public Hearing on Compassionate Release and Conditions of Supervision (for Federal Bureau of Prisons) 48-minute video, February 17, 2016 Proposed amendments to Sentencing Guidelines (including sections on compassionate release/conditions of supervision) February 15, 2016; public comment period ends 3/21/2016 “Supporting America’s Aging Prisoner Population: Opportunities and Challenges for Area Agencies on Aging” 2016: National Association of Area Agencies on Aging “Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety” November, 2015: a policy publication by RAPP, Center for Justice at Columbia University, and others; includes chapters by former heads of department of corrections and parole board • Campaign to Change Parole in New York: “Nature of the Crime” May 18, 2015: Parole Justice Now!
Reynolds, “The High Costs of Low Risk: The Crisis of America’s Aging Prison Population” (new edition) April, 2018: Elizabeth Gaynes, Tanya Krupat, David George, and Colin Bernatsky, for The Osborne Association “A Question of Compassion: Medical Parole in New York State” April, 2018: Rebecca Silber, Léon Digard, Tina Maschi, Brie Williams, and Jessi La Chance for “Reentry Experiences of Elderly Ex-Offenders: Wasted Lives” May, 2017: Charmaine Clarke, Stony Brook University (thesis) “Still Life: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences” May, 2017: Ashley Nellis, prepared for the Florida Legislature “New York State’s Aging Prison Population” April, 2017: Office of the New York State Comptroller Thomas di Napoli “Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA” April, 2017: Christopher Wildeman & Emily Wang, in “America: Equity and Equality in Health 4,” “Aging in Prison: A human rights problem we must fix” January, 2017: Prison Watch Project, American Friends Service Committee “Crime Survivors Speak: The First-Ever National Survey of Victims’ Views on Safety and Justice” December, 2016: “Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell” November, 2016: Association of State Correctional Administrators, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, Yale University The Effects of Age at Prison Release on Women’s Desistance Trajectories: a Mixed-Methods Analysis September 2016: Erin M.
Most Americans agree with the conclusion that can be drawn from these statistics: Something must change if we are to achieve an effective justice system that protects and enhances public safety while respecting human dignity.
Prison reform is one remedy to the ineffectiveness of our justice system that many states and the federal government have explored.