Principles for Reform

With the cost and size of our correctional systems at historically unprecedented levels, and with recidivism rates persistently high, our prison systems are not adequately rehabilitating offenders based on the best available evidence. Safe Streets & Second Chances believes both independent research and policy reform are desperately needed.

We therefore support the following principles:

  • Congress and the states must use resources dedicated to criminal justice agencies to reduce crime, enhance public safety, and increase opportunity for all Americans.
  • In-prison reentry programming must be crafted with incentives to enhance participation and guided by the best available evidence.
  • Enhance existing risk and needs assessment tools and classification processes to ensure all inmates are given access to recidivism reduction programs that meet their needs.
  • Expand access and funding for voluntary prison work programs to allow for the acquisition of real-world job skills and prepare for successful re-entry and sustainable employment upon release.
  • Expand access and funding for continuing education and skilled-trades programming at all levels.
  • Evaluate and facilitate public and private partnerships that improve pre- and post-release employment opportunities for inmates.
  • Prioritize funding and support for programs that demonstrate evidence-driven practices proven by randomized controlled trial, to help reduce recidivism.

Sage Streets & Second Chances, with twenty-six other organizations and companies, issued a letter to the House and Senate judiciary committees, emphasizing these principles and the need for reform.