REFORMING AMERICA’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Refocusing on Delivering Results, Aligning with Our Values, and Reducing the Burden on Taxpayers

Paid for by Cory Booker for Senate.

REFORMING AMERICA’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: REFOCUSING ON DELIVERING RESULTS, ALIGNING WITH OUR VALUES, AND REDUCING THE BURDEN ON TAXPAYERS INTRODUCTION One of the biggest wastes of taxpayer dollars in our society today can be found in a criminal justice system in serious need of reform. As mayor of Newark, I have watched as my police arrest, re-arrest, and then re-arrest again, sending the same person for another trip through a revolving door system that not only largely fails to rehabilitate, but too often makes reoffending commonplace and most definitely is not helping to make our communities safer. The many problems in the criminal justice system have not defeated our efforts in Newark — while there is much work left to do, since my Administration began its work with the Newark community, murders are down 17 percent, shootings are down 27 percent, rapes are down 38 percent, aggravated assaults are down 12 percent, thefts are down 11 percent, and auto thefts are down 26 percent. But that progress has been won with the wind in our face and does not account for the thousands of lives negatively impacted by backward policies in our criminal justice system. It is clear from what we have seen in Newark, and in cities across the country, that we can do better. That we can create a system that makes our communities safer and spends significantly fewer taxpayer dollars to deliver that safety; A system that does not waste the potential and productivity of so many of our citizens and better reflects our values, treating every American justly; A system that brings together communities and law enforcement and that restores the strength of families, stopping, rather than perpetuating, the intergenerational cycle of incarceration. That is not happening now. We waste massive amounts of money on strategies that make our communities less, not more, safe. We squander human potential. We emphasize punishment over rehabilitation for low-level, non-violent crimes. We have created a system that fosters disparate racial and socio-economic impacts. Even more disturbing are the impacts on inmates’ children. Not only do they lose their incarcerated parent’s income and other direct support, but innocent children who have one or both of their parents in prison also suffer trauma, social stigma, and destruction of their familial relationships. In fact, a national, longitudinal study of approximately 5,000 children born between 1998 and 2000 found that children whose fathers were incarcerated were four times more likely to face contact with the child welfare system.1 And we have done better, but there is so much common sense progress remaining to be claimed. Driving reform here in Newark has been a broad-based coalition, including, for example, the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. We worked across the aisle because this issue is not a left or right problem. It’s a common sense problem. It’s a basic question of continuing to fail, or moving forward. It’s a question of making our communities safer, or continuing to waste law enforcement resources and taxpayer dollars.

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“Fragile Families Research Brief: Parental Incarceration and Child Wellbeing in Fragile Families,” BendheimThoman Center for Research on Child Well-Being, Princeton University Press (April 2008), http://www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Topics/Special%20Interest%20Areas/Children%20with%20Incarcerated%20Par ents/ParentalIncarcerationandChildWellbeinginFragi/fragile%20families%20brief_2.pdf

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Our cities and towns cannot do this alone. The federal government must reform the system where it controls it and do more to support innovation at the state and local level. If we all come together to banish stigma and myth, and instead focus on fact and outcomes, we will do better. The result will be safer communities, savings for taxpayers, stronger children and families, and a criminal justice system that reflects American values. TAKING ACTION I. REDUCING PRISON ENTRIES FOR NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS Low-level, nonviolent drug offenders comprise more than 50 percent of the federal prison population, and the number of drug offenders in state facilities has increased thirteen-fold since 1980.2 We now spend more than $51 billion annually to fight the War on Drugs,3 a war that has proven to be largely ineffective. Our sentencing regime for drug-related crimes is in need of reform. President Obama and Attorney General Holder deserve real praise for taking on this fight, but in order to achieve further progress, we should:

a. Increase federal funding for proven, evidence-based programs like drug and community
courts, that divert low-level drug offenders from prison. Drug courts have been shown to significantly decrease recidivism and save taxpayers money. A drug court is a specialized model that moves non-violent drug offenders from the traditional court system to an alternative model, where the offender receives treatment, services, and rehabilitation, instead of a harsh sentence. In 2012, New Jersey established a $2.5 million pilot program to expand drug courts throughout the state. Sending a person to drug court in New Jersey costs about $13,000 less than sending a person to prison.4 Here in Newark, we developed a Youth Court, which engages young people in the criminal justice process, where youth help their peers receive the help they need to avoid reoffending. We also established a veterans’ court and the first community court in the state of New Jersey. These alternative court models provide municipal judges with increased sentencing options for nonviolent offenders so they may help address the underlying issues driving criminal behavior and reduce the likelihood of recidivism. The problem-solving approach to justice has also improved public perceptions of justice in Newark and in countless other municipalities all over the world which have embraced the model.

b. Facilitate a structured, national conversation about the decriminalization of marijuana:
Each year more than 700,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession. When arrests occur, African Americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana
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E. Anne Carson and William J. Sabol, “Prisoners in 2011,” Bureau of Justice Statistics (Dec. 17, 2012), http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4559. 3 “Drug War Statistics,” The Drug Policy Alliance (accessed on Aug. 27, 2013), http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug war-statistics. 4 Stuart Rabner, et al., “A Model for Success: New Jersey’s Adult Drug Courts,” New Jersey Courts (Oct. 2010), http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/drugcourt/DrugCourtReport.pdf.

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than whites, even though both populations use the drugs at similar rates.5 Many states no longer strictly adhere to the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This classification declares that marijuana has no medicinal qualities, and is more likely to be abused than cocaine. The racial disparities when enforcing the law as well as state movements toward decriminalization highlight the need to reexamine our policies. It is time for us to have a candid, structured conversation about the legal status of, and law enforcement focus on, marijuana. This discussion must bring together police, prosecutors, public defenders, public health experts, academia, community leaders, and other stakeholders to consider whether our approach to drug policy is fostering strong communities and making us safer. Members of both parties must consider whether current national drug policy encourages the effective stewardship of law enforcement resources, and if there are better ways to achieve desired outcomes. II. PROMOTE JUSTICE AND INTEGRITY IN THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW We did not plan to create a criminal justice system that incarcerates over 2.2 million Americans, but our actions along the way, taken together, have led us down this destructive path.6 The prevailing “tough on crime” policy-making climate that emerged in the 1980s has taken away much prosecutorial and judicial authority, inhibiting just and commensurate charges and sentencing. Imprisonment continues to be concentrated among poor, minority males. Today, 1 in every 15 black males is in prison or jail, compared to 1 in 106 white males. 7 To address racial disparities in incarceration, and mass incarceration more broadly, we should: a. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses. Research shows that mandatory minimum sentences have virtually no deterrent effect on crime. 8 Instead, mandatory minimums impose disproportionately harsh sentences at tremendous cost to taxpayers and often with an effect counter to the interests of public safety.9 To address this, Congress should pass the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 and the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013. These bills would give judges more discretion to sentence federal offenders below the mandatory minimum and would reduce the length of mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, respectively. But even more needs to be done. Mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenses should be eliminated entirely.

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“The War on Marijuana In Black and White,” American Civil Liberties Union (June 2013), https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/aclu-thewaronmarijuana-rel2.pdf. 6 Supra note 2. 7 Sophia Kerby, “The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States,” Center for American Progress (Mar. 13, 2012), http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-peopleof-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/. 8 Id. 9 James Austin, et. al., “Ending Mass Incarceration: Charting a New Justice Reinvestment,” Justice Strategies (Apr. 16, 2013), http://www.justicestrategies.org/sites/default/files/publications/Charting%20a%20New%20Justice%20Reinvestment .pdf.

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b. Eliminate the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The crack-to-powder cocaine disparity has contributed to severe racial discrepancies in our incarceration practices, as blacks are more likely to be arrested for crack-related crimes.10 In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law, which decreased the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1,11 and also eliminated the five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for possession of crack cocaine. This was a significant step in the right direction, and Congress should now act to fully correct the disparity. c. Prosecutors and law enforcement should do more to consider disparate racial and ethnic impacts. In all areas of law enforcement, from training to prosecution, law enforcement officers and prosecutors make decisions that can have disparate impacts based on race. We should require the DOJ to study this issue, as recommended in the Justice Integrity Acts of 2009 and 2011 and outlined by the Brennan Center for Justice,12 to determine the full extent of these disparate impacts. While the majority of law enforcement and prosecutors are sensitive to these issues and dutifully serve racially- and ethnically-diverse communities every day, they may—often unintentionally—employ practices that lead to disparate impacts. There is much to do: we should be promoting a law enforcement community that is ethnically diverse and offers ongoing disparities training, support prosecutors that listen to community members about disparate treatment, and champion legislation in sentencing reform that addresses these disparities in our federal criminal justice system. d. Develop incentives and training for federal prosecutors to find alternative metrics of success. We should be promoting performance measurement systems that focus more on public safety outcomes, costs to taxpayers, and recidivism rates.13 Unfortunately now, the typical performance measures for prosecutors focus primarily on convictions, incarcerations, placements in treatment facilities, alternative programs, and restitution. III. MODERNIZE THE WAY WE INCARCERATE More than 680,000 inmates are released from federal and state prisons every year. 14 Without proper preparation while serving their sentences, many will re-offend and return to prison. We must invest in education and skill-building, drug treatment, and facilitation of family communication to ensure that the formerly incarcerated can successfully reintegrate into their families and communities. We should:

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“Special Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy,” United States Sentencing Commission (May 2007). 11 “Fair Sentencing Act,” American Civil Liberties Union (accessed on Aug. 26, 2013), https://www.aclu.org/fairsentencing-act. 12 James Johnson, et. al., “Racial Disparities in Federal Prosecutions,” Brennan Center for Justice (2010), http://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/Justice/ProsecutorialDiscretion_report.pdf?nocdn=1. 13 Stephanos Bibas, “The Need for Prosecutorial Discretion,” 19 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. Law Rev. 369 (2010); Stephanos Bibas, “Rewarding Prosecutors for Performance,” 6 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 441 (2009); Stephanos Bibas, “Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability,” 157 U. PA. L. REV. 959 (2009). 14 Audrey Bazos and Jessica Hausman, "Correctional Education as a Crime Control Program," UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research Department of Policy Studies (Mar. 2004), http://www.ceanational.net/PDFs/edas-crime-control.pdf.

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a. Better fund and improve access to proven, cost-saving methods of education inside prison. Access to education reduces recidivism and saves money. A study in Washington State found that for every dollar spent on correctional education, the state saved $12.15 Another study concluded that a one million dollar investment in incarceration prevents 350 crimes, yet that same investment in correctional education could prevent 600 crimes. 16 By some accounts, fewer than one-third of men in prison have finished high school.17 Upon release, many of these men are ill-prepared for the 21st century job market. Offering higher education in prison reduces recidivism and increases the ability of the formerly incarcerated to support themselves and their families. In fact, in-prison education has been shown to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.18 The New Jersey STEP program is a privately funded partnership between the N.J. Department of Corrections, Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, and seven other two- and four-year colleges, to give the incarcerated an opportunity to attain a higher education degree. To reduce recidivism and increase employment, the federal government should support programs that allow people in prison to obtain a high school diploma or secondary education degree. b. Increase funding for effective drug treatment in prisons. While the Federal Bureau of Prisons has recognized the importance of drug treatment in prison, 19 only 20 percent of inmates with drug or alcohol addiction receive appropriate treatment.20 This shortfall costs taxpayers money: every dollar spent on treatment of substance abuse in the criminal justice system saves taxpayers as much as four dollars. 21 We must fully fund drug and alcohol treatment programs that use best practices to combat addiction. c. Work to end the use of private prisons. The U.S. is increasingly reliant on private prisons that benefit financially from high conviction rates and long sentences—sending them nearly $3 billion in revenue in 2010 alone.22 According to a recent study by the ACLU, for-profit companies are responsible for 6 percent of state inmates, 16 percent of federal inmates, and

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Steve Aos, et. al., “Evidence-based public policy options to reduce future prison construction, criminal justice costs and crime rates,” Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2006), http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/pub.asp?docid=06-10-1201. 16 Emily Deruy, “What it Costs When We Don't Educate Inmates for Life After Prison,” ABC News (May 27, 2013), http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/us-fails-educate-inmates-life-prison/story?id=19204306. 17 “Staying in Jobs and Out of the Underground: Child Support Policies that Encourage Legitimate Work,” Center for Law And Social Policy (2007), http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/0349.pdf. 18 Stephen Steurer, et al., Three State Recidivism Study (2001), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERICED465886/pdf/ERIC-ED465886.pdf. 19 “The Federal Bureau of Prisons Annual Report on Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Fiscal Year 2011,” Report to the Judiciary Committee of the United States Congress (Dec. 2011), http://www.bop.gov/inmate_programs/docs/annual_report_fy_2011.pdf. 20 Redonna K. Chandler, et. al., “Treating Drug Abuse and Addiction in the Criminal Justice System: Improving Public Health and Safety,” Journal of the American Medical Association (2009), http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=183208. 21 Id. 22 “Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration,” American Civil Liberties Union (Nov. 2, 2011), http://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/banking-bondage-private-prisons-and-mass-incarceration.

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nearly half of all immigrants detained by the federal government.23 These private prisons are paid on the basis of how many inmates they house per day, and some have contracts that guarantee occupancy rates of nearly 100 percent. Perhaps not surprisingly, considering their financial incentive to have inmates return, private prisons usually offer very poor re-entry services.24 Further, private prisons’ interest in making profits for shareholders can incentivize shortcuts in prison investment and maintenance, leading to substandard conditions for inmates—while often costing more than government-run prisons.25 We should: o Decrease our investments in private prisons over time. Our federal system should join states like Kentucky26 in working to end our reliance on private prisons and focusing our investments on our inmates’ safety and critical services. 27 It is counterintuitive to fund companies that have a financial interest in ensuring that our citizens are held behind bars. We should spend that money on public education, social services, and appropriate programing in the federal prison system to bring our prison populations down and increase the number of Americans contributing to our workforce. We must use commonsense ideas to reduce our prison population and hold federal inmates in federal facilities. Better regulate private prisons. Until we can end our reliance on private prisons, we should ensure that the civil and human rights of our inmates are protected and that they are kept safe, fed, and provided services that will help them re-enter society. Through current federal contracts, private prisons will continue to house our federal prisoners and immigrant detainees for some time. The Office of Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) was established to regulate private prisons, but it has not been protecting our prisoners. The OFDT needs sufficient staffing, funding, and regulations to ensure that private prisons are meeting the same standards for health, safety, and services that we require of our federal prisons. But even more, Congress must pass legislation to ensure that the OFDT and the public have access to information about what is happening to our federal prisoners and undocumented immigrants held in private prisons, as this will allow us to adequately assess the most glaring deficiencies in the current system.

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Id. Id., see also Grassroots Leadership: “The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America,” http://grassrootsleadership.org/cca -dirty-30#introduction. 25 Richard A. Oppel, Jr., “Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings,” New York Times (May 18, 2011); D.M. Levine, “What’s costlier than a government run prison? A private one,” Fortune (Aug. 18, 2010); ACLU, supra note 22; see also Aviva Shen, “Three States Dump Major Private Prison Company in One Month,” ThinkProgress (June 21, 2013), http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/21/2193261/three-states-dump-private-prison-company-in-onemonth/. 26 Tom Loftus, "Kentucky ending private prisons," The Courier Journal (June 25, 2013), http://www.courierjournal.com/article/20130625/NEWS01/306250074/Kentucky-ending-private-prisons. 27 ACLU, supra note 22, see also Shen, supra note 25.

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d. Help inmates and their families maintain functional family relationships. Over 2.7 million children have a parent behind bars.28 Research has shown that family support is critical to keeping the formerly incarcerated out of prison upon their release.29 Having a parent in prison creates emotional trauma, loss of income, and social stigma for children, and they require support from the community to help them to overcome these hurdles. 30 These families need our support. We should: o Ensure that inmates are held in facilities as close to their families as possible. The Federal Bureau of Prisons agrees that inmates should be held in prison facilities close to their families—but they define “close” as within 500 miles, which is out of reach for many. Whenever specific public safety concerns and capacity allow, inmates should be held in the closest facility to their families. If this is not possible at sentencing, inmates should be transferred to the closest facilities as soon as is possible. This is not merely to improve reentry; it is critical to helping millions of children cope with their parent’s incarceration. Provide inmates with domestic abuse and counseling classes. When a spouse or parent is in prison, his or her family must adjust to fill that void. As a consequence, even healthy relationships change when the inmate is released, and unhealthy relationships can become more destructive. Inmates who have exhibited or experienced violence should have access to abuse counseling classes that have proven to facilitate healthy family relationships upon release. Make prison phone calls financially accessible to all inmates and their families. The Federal Communication Commission made a critical first step this August by reducing the cost of interstate prison phone calls and capping the “commissions” that telecommunication providers pay to prisons. 31 But we should now apply similar regulations to intrastate calls to ensure that children can maintain relationships with their incarcerated parents and prevent recidivism. Support programs that help inmates’ families visit prisons. We should continue and increase funding for grants provided by the Department of Health and Human Services that have proven to help inmates’ families

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Steve Christian, “Children of Incarcerated Parents,” National Council of State Legislatures (Mar. 2009), http://www.ncsl.org/documents/cyf/childrenofincarceratedparents.pdf. 29 “Improved Evaluations and Increased Coordination Could Improve Cell Phone Detection,” Bureau of Prisons (Sept. 6, 2011), http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-893. 30 Jessica Meyerson and Christa Otteson, “Strengthening families impacted by incarceration: A review of current research and practice,” Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (May 2009), http://www.wilder.org/WilderResearch/Publications/Studies/Volunteers%20of%20America/Strengthening%20Families%20Impacted%20By%20I ncarceration%20-%20A%20Review%20of%20Current%20Research%20and%20Practice,%20Full%20Report.pdf. 31 Rebecca Rosen, “Making Prison Phone Calls Cheaper: Why It Matters,” The Atlantic Wire (Aug. 18, 2013), http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/making-prison-phone-calls-cheaper-why-it-matters/278780/.

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maintain close relationships with incarcerated family members. New Jersey Department of Corrections has a successful program, funded by HHS grants, that supports parents navigating the logistical hurdles that might otherwise prevent them from bringing children to visit their fathers in prison.32 The Girl Scouts Behind Bars program provides transportation and enhanced visiting for girls with mothers who are in prison.33 Programs like these ensure that children will know their parents and create the familial continuity that has been linked to successful re-entry.

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“Five Years Later: Final Implementation Lessons from the Evaluation of Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners,” Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (May 2013), http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/13/MFS-IPImplementation/rpt_mmfsip.html. 33 Abby Goodnough, “N.J. Law; Behind Bars, a Program Brings Mothers and Daughters Together.” New York Times (July 30, 1995), http://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/30/nyregion/nj-law-behind-bars-a-girl-scout-troop-bringsmothers-and-daughters-together.html.

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IV. INVEST IN RE-ENTRY Transition from prison to community is rarely fluid, and formerly incarcerated men and women often struggle to find employment and other institutional supports needed for successful reintegration. Hurdles to smooth reentry contribute to a three-year re-arrest rate for formerly incarcerated people in New Jersey of 55 percent, a re-conviction rate of 43 percent, and a re-incarceration rate of 31 percent.34 High reincarceration rates create a revolving door that undermines public safety efforts in our most impoverished communities. To reduce high re-incarceration rates, we should: a. Help formerly incarcerated individuals better qualify for employment. As we seek to provide every American with the tools and resources to succeed in the workforce, we cannot afford to ignore our reentry population. Individuals released in 2009 served an average of almost three years in custody.35 Time spent in prison decreases on-the-job experience, social networks needed for successful job placement, and soft skills such as punctuality.36 Skills loss, in addition to the stigma that formerly incarcerated individuals face when seeking employment, creates a negative cycle in which an individual who is unable to find employment may return to criminal activity. To break this cycle, we must create better employment prospects for the formerly incarcerated. o Institute “Ban the Box” measures. While exceptions must, of course, be made for certain crimes and jobs with particular sensitivities, such as those positions of trust interfacing with children or seniors, public employers should be prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history prior to the interview stage of a job application, and we should encourage private employers to do the same. Fifty cities and eight states, including Newark, have enacted some form of “Ban the Box” measures to give the formerly incarcerated a fair shot to demonstrate their qualifications and to contextualize their criminal record when applying for jobs.37 In April 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommendations included Ban the Box measures as a best practice to limit discrimination against the formerly incarcerated.38

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Frequently Asked Questions, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections (accessed on Aug. 26, 2013), http://www.state.nj.us/corrections/SubSites/OTS/OTS_faq.html. 35 Susan K. Urahn, et. al., “Time Served: The High Cost, Low Returns of Long Prison Terms,” The Pew Center on the States (June 2012), http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/sentencing_and_corrections/Prison_Time_Serve d.pdf. 36 John Schmitt and Kris Warner, “Ex-Offenders and the Labor Market,” Center for Economic and Policy Research (Nov. 2010), http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/ex-offenders-2010-11.pdf. 37 “Ban the Box: Major U.S. Cities and Counties Adopt Fair Hiring Policies to remove Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records,” National Employment Law Project (Apr. 2013), http://nelp.3cdn.net/495bf1d813cadb030d_qxm6b9zbt.pdf. 38 Id.

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Incentivize and measure innovative employment programs. We should create an incentive program that fosters the creation of state- and locally- led employment programs for the formerly incarcerated. States where recidivism rates fall as a result of these job programs would be eligible for additional grant funding. 39 To reduce recidivism in Newark, we focused on helping returning citizens find and keep work. Our Office of Reentry–one of a few in the country–has demonstrated success in placing the formerly incarcerated into jobs upon release. In our reentry programs, 60 percent of enrollees found private, unsubsidized jobs.40 Provide continuous career services. Establishing realistic, long-term employment goals is an important factor in overcoming employment hurdles. Prisons should provide inmates with employment counselors during their prison sentence and as they transition back into society. Given each inmate’s unique employment challenges, comprehensive wrap-around services can be effective job placement resource. In a wrap-around program, a newlyincarcerated individual is provided a career counselor, who identifies programs they can take advantage of while in prison or jail.41 During their incarceration, the counselor periodically checks on the inmate’s progress, and at the time of release, provides an employment roadmap, which can be shared with the inmate’s parole officer. Offer transitional job programs. Inmates frequently enter prison with few or no job skills or find that their skill set deteriorates from disuse. Transitional employment allows the formerly incarcerated to gain experience and demonstrating a strong work ethic. In Newark, the Office of Reentry established the Clean and Green program in partnership with the Newark Conservancy to provide the formerly incarcerated with transitional jobs in landscaping, urban farming and lot reclamation. Through supportive, transitional work, participants hone basic job skills such as punctuality, routine, and conflict management; they build references for future employment; and they become better prepared for the job market. More than 600 Newarkers have been provided transitional jobs since 2009, and the Office of Reentry will serve another 400 in the coming year. 42 We should fund rapid-attachment to work programs like this one in cities and states across the country, and develop a mechanism to share best practices.

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“Innovations in Community Corrections: Controlling Crime, Prison Populations and Costs,” National Conference of State Legislatures (2010), http://www.ncsl.org/documents/cj/pew/innovations.pdf 40 Interview with Ingrid Johnson, Director, Newark Office of Reentry (Aug. 21, 2013). 41 According to a report published by the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center, nearly half of formerly-incarcerated did not attend a job-training program, most commonly because they were unaware of the availability of such programs or services. Christy Visher, et al. “Employment After Prison: A Longitudinal Study of Releasees in Three States,” Urban Institute Justice Policy Center (Oct. 2008). 42 Ingrid Johnson, supra note 40.

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Assist with ongoing civil legal matters. Following release, inmates need help to resolve outstanding civil legal issues that may hinder employment and prevent them from providing for their families. In Newark, we have partnered with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Seton Hall University Law School, and private attorneys to help establish Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe). 43 The ReLeSe initiative finds pro bono attorneys to help the formerly incarcerated with their postrelease legal issues, such as expunging from their criminal record minor offenses from the distant past. Since 2010, ReLeSe has assisted more than 1,200 clients.44 Provide state-issued photo identification to the newly released, and provide ongoing access to ID resources for those transitioning. Individuals often leave prison without the state government-issued identification needed to get employment, open bank accounts, and receive services. New Jersey has remedied this situation for discharges from state prison, but it remains a problem in many states. Federal prisons, by law, must provide these services, and Congress should conduct rigorous oversight and provide adequate funding to ensure the law is being fully implemented. To help the formerly incarcerated find employment and transition back into their communities, state and federal governments should ensure that inmates have in hand the proper documents to obtain state-issued photo identification before their release, and keep them connected to ID resources in the years following release. Our efforts in Newark have helped over 700 people obtain these critical documents.45

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b. Increase access to opportunity. After their release, the formerly incarcerated are subject to invisible barriers: systematic regulations, policies, and practices that greatly restrict opportunities for successful reintegration. 46 These barriers substantially increase the likelihood that they will re-offend and return to the prison system. o Create pathways for smoother reintegration. We should restructure federal provisions that prohibit non-violent drug offenders with felony drug convictions from ever receiving public assistance, public housing, and access to student loans. In some urban areas, between 30 percent and 50 percent of people on parole are homeless.47 Access to housing, transitional assistance

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“25 Accomplishments in 25 Months,” City of Newark (2001), http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/userimages/downloads/25Accomplishments.pdf. 44 “Newark Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe),” Volunteers Lawyers for Justice (accessed on Aug. 26, 2013), http://www.vljnj.org/programs-relese. 45 Ingrid Johnson, supra note 40. 46 Jeremy Travis, “Invisible Punishment: An Instrument of Social Exclusion,” Urban Institute (2003), http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1000557_invisible_punishment.pdf. 47 Nino Rodriguez and Brenner Brown, "Preventing Homelessness Among People Leaving Prison," Vera Institute of Justice (December 2003), http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/vera/209_407.pdf.

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and education can greatly bolster the trajectories of individuals working hard to rehabilitate and live productive, law-abiding lives. o Increase funding for the Second Chance Act. We must promote and support evidence-based reentry initiatives by increasing funding for the Second Chance Act. The Act authorizes grants for prison-based re-entry programs, community-based re-entry programs, and re-entry research and evaluation. Here in Newark, Second Chance Act funding supports the city’s innovative transitional job programs.

c. Reduce prison admissions from probation and parole revocations. There are over 7 million people currently under the supervision of the criminal justice system.48 Between 1980 and 2011 the number of people under community supervision (i.e., probation or parole) increased by more than 250 percent.49 More than 200,000 people are sent to prison each year for parole revocations, some of which are technical violations.50 By significantly limiting revocations to prison from parole and probation violations, we can decrease the overall prison population without compromising public safety. Arizona and California have passed laws that financially reward counties that keep former offenders who violate parole under community supervision instead of sending them back to state prison. In the first year alone, the California program reduced probation revocations by 23 percent and saved $179 million.51 At the federal level, we should create financial incentives for states to develop similar policies. V. SUPPORTING OUR POLICE OFFICERS AND STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COMMUNITIES The economic hardships of the past five years have stretched local, county and state budgets, resulting in a reduction in the number of law enforcement officers protecting our communities.52 Reports suggest that a 10 percent increase in the size of a police force reduces violent crime by 4 percent and property crimes by 5 percent.53 We must employ innovative policing strategies to bring communities and those dedicated to protecting them closer together, and we must adequately staff, train, and equip our police agencies to fulfill that mission.

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James Austin, et. al., “Ending Mass Incarceration: Charting a New Justice Reinvestment,” Ju stice Strategies (Apr. 16, 2013), http://www.justicestrategies.org/sites/default/files/publications/Charting%20a%20New%20Justice%20Reinvestment .pdf. 49 Id. 50 “The Science of Downsizing Prisons: What Works? ,” The Sentencing Project (Feb. 2013), http://sentencingproject.org/doc/The%20Science%20of%20Downsizing%20Prisons%20--%20What%20Works_.pdf. 51 “The Impact of California's Probation Performance Incentive Funding Program,” The Pew Center of the States (Feb. 2012), http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pew_California_probation_brief.pdf. 52 “The Impact of the Economic Downturn on American Police Agencies,” United States Department of Justice (Oct. 2011), http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/files/RIC/Publications/e101113406_Economic%20Impact.pdf. 53 Jens Ludwig and John H. Donahue, “More COPS,” Brookings Institution (March 2007), http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2007/03/crime-ludwig.

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a. Enhance grant funding for “Community Oriented Policing Services” under the Department of Justice. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) was created to assist law enforcement agencies to enhance public safety through the implementation of community-based policing strategies. The COPS Office is commissioned to develop innovative programs that engage community members and local advocates in collaborative local efforts. More than 500,000 law enforcement personnel and community members have been trained using COPS funding in just 15 years.54 b. Reduce violent crime by expanding funding for proven law enforcement programs, such as “Ceasefire.” Here in Newark, we launched the Newark Violence Reduction Initiative (NVRI), New Jersey’s only “Ceasefire”-inspired violence reduction program. NVRI provides known gang members with a stark choice: either accept help to find a job and support yourself within the law or face swift and focused prosecution. In our first pilot area, fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents have decreased 50 percent since November 2011.55 The program has been successful in other cities, reducing drug crime by 39 percent in the first year in High Point, North Carolina56 and decreasing youth homicides by 63 percent in targeted areas of Boston.57 VI. INCREASING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION In the hardest hit communities, mass incarceration has led to widespread family and economic disruptions, gaps in employable residents, and distrust of government. The formerly incarcerated make 40 percent less over the course of their lifetimes, including an expected earnings loss of nearly $179,000 by the age of forty-eight.58 They also find it harder to stay employed, are less likely to marry, and are more likely to suffer a range of medical and psychological problems.59 As a result, millions of children have grown up without a strong role model. Mass imprisonment produces the social problems upon which it feeds.60 We should prioritize policies that promote strong communities over incarceration, such as: a. Encouraging political participation. In our democracy, voting is a right, not a privilege. There are more than 5.3 million previously-incarcerated Americans barred from voting because of prior criminal convictions, most of which are non-violent offenses.61 Nearly 40
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“Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS),” United States Department of Justice (March 29, 2013), http://www.justice.gov/jmd/2014summary/pdf/cops.pdf. 55 Newark Police Department Statistics (Aug. 27, 2013). 56 David M. Kennedy and Sue-Lin Wong, “The High Point Drug Market Intervention Strategy,” Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (Aug. 2009), http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e08097226HighPoint.pdf. 57 Anthony A. Braga, et. al., “Reducing Gun Violence: The Boston Gun Project’s Operation Ceasefire,” National Institute of Justice (September 2001), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/188741.pdf. 58 “Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility,” The Pew Charitable Trusts (2010), http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Economic_Mobility/Collateral%20Costs%20FI NAL.pdf?n=5996. 59 Todd Clear, “Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Communities Worse,” Oxford University Press (2007). 60 Id. 61 “Voter Disenfranchisement: The Right to Vote,” American Civil Liberties Union (accessed on Aug. 26, 2013), http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voter-disfranchisement.

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percent of those citizens have fully completed their sentences, including probation and parole, yet they continue to be deprived of their right to vote. 62 This has created a politically disenfranchised sub-class that has little or no power over their representatives but is particularly vulnerable to their decisions. o Pass the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 to restore federal voting rights to the formerly incarcerated. After the formerly incarcerated have paid their debts to society, they should have their right to vote in federal elections restored. As they have satisfied all other requirements of full citizenship, including paying taxes, they should have the rights that citizenship ensures restored automatically. 63 Not doing so is counterproductive to the rehabilitation and reintegration of those released from prison into society. Support efforts to restore voting rights at the state level. Currently, 11 states disenfranchise the formerly incarcerated even after these citizens have been released from prison and paid their debt to society. 64 This can make the previously incarcerated feel that they will never truly be a part of their community again, and makes it more likely that they will re-offend.65 Even when states allow the formerly incarcerated to petition for their right to vote to be restored, they must still jump through hoops that are all but impossible for those in poverty to overcome. We must start a conversation with state and local governments about restoring the formerly incarcerated people’s right to vote.

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b. Changing Census Bureau rules to count incarcerated people in their home communities. The U.S. Census Bureau currently follows a 1790 rule that counts prisoners as residents in the district their prison is located. This causes over-counting in areas of the country with prisons and under-counting in areas with high rates of imprisonment, affecting local, state, and federal representation and allocation of government funds.66 When prisoners are held outside their home districts, those districts appear to have fewer residents and receive fewer supports and services than they need. The federal government should modernize this rule. c. Restoring fractured relationships between community residents and the criminal justice system. When members of a community do not feel that the criminal justice system is working to protect them, they are less likely to cooperate with law enforcement. This

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Id. Mark Meredith and Michael Morse, “The Politics of the Restoration of Ex -Felon Voting Rights: The Case of Iowa” (Jan. 21, 2013), http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~marcmere/workingpapers/IowaFelons.pdf. 64 “Disenfranchisement of Felony Offenders,” Project Vote (March 2010), http://projectvote.org/images/publications/Felon%20Voting/felon_voting_rights_by_state.pdf. 65 Christopher Uggen and Michelle Inderbitzin, “The Price and the Promise of Citizenship: Extendi ng the Vote to Non-incarcerated Felons,” American Society of Criminology (2009), http://www.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/uggen_inderbitzin_asc_09.pdf. 66 Peter Wagner, “Breaking the Census: Redistricting in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” 38.4 William Mitchell Law Review 1241. (2011), http://www.wmitchell.edu/lawreview/Volume38/documents/2.Wagner.pdf.

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undermines public safety. Federal, state, and local governments must engage with their citizens to re-build trust, strengthen communities, and ensure that all of us are safer.

CONCLUSION The stakes are high. The issue of mass incarceration implicates the safety of our communities, billions of taxpayer dollars, and the health and cohesion of our families. Our next steps will determine whether our criminal justice system remains a vehicle for rigid punishment and waste, or becomes a springboard for rehabilitation, opportunity, and hope. By striving for a more just legal system, by investing in proven models that promote successful ex-offender re-eentry, and by supporting communities and law enforcement, we can create a criminal justice system worthy of our nation’s unshakable foundational values. We can, we must, do better.

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