Despite the size, cost, and growth, our state and federal criminal justice systems are not producing better outcomes or reducing recidivism.
What’s driving the growth? Not the hardened violent criminals you might suspect.
“We know everyone wants to be tough on crime, but when you point out to a Rotary Club or chamber member that it costs $20,000 to send somebody to prison for a low-level drug offense, and that’s equivalent to sending three people to a community college, they see it doesn’t make sense to lock up everyone hanging out on a street corner.”
– Dave Adkisson, CCE, president and CEO,
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
“Los Angeles has learned that an unintended consequence of getting tougher on crime leads to a massive investment in criminal justice at the expense of education and prevention. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce leads a Smart Justice approach that promotes public safety and expands investments in education, training, and preventions that work.”
– David Rattray, executive vice president of education and
workforce development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
“Building on our long history of advocating for sound criminal justice reform, supporting “presumptive parole” policies that ensure that those sentenced to prison no longer serve exorbitantly long prison terms. The Chamber recognizes that a significant portion of associated cost savings should be redirected to efforts to increase public safety.”
– 2016 Legislative Priorities
A chorus of other voices are speaking out on this issue. Republicans, Democrats, faith-based organizations, taxpayer advocates, journalists, lawmakers.
If you haven’t already explored this issue and its impact on your state, let us help. Explore the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project at www.pewtrusts.org for information and resources. Call ACCE to learn about how chambers have engaged on these issues at 703-998-0072.
Download this article: Chambers Get Smart on Justice (2)