The State 's Criminal Justice System

999 Words4 Pages
According to a report by Utah’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (2014), the state’s prison population, while lower than most states, has increased more than 18 percent in the last 10 years and Utah annually spends $270 million dollars on corrections (summary, para 1-3). In response to this information, the Utah Legislature of 2015 passed House Bill 348, Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments in an effort to reform the criminal justice system in Utah. The bill initiated the state’s Criminal Justice Initiative and is based on recommendations designed to control the cost of corrections while keeping Utah communities safe. In their “Justice Reinvestment Report” the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) states, “For all the spending, taxpayers have not been getting a strong public safety return. Almost half (46%) of Utah’s inmates who are released from state prisons return within 3 years” (summary, para 1-3). Indicating that controlling corrections costs while keeping communities safe depends on maximizing offenders’ success at becoming contributing members of their communities. Successful reintegration into the community plays a critical role in reducing recidivism, which consists of both new crimes committed by an offender and breaking provisions of their probation or parole. However, not all individuals return to communities where access to support services are available. According to Lutze et al’s (2014), research “Homeless and Reentry,” and also
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