States' Budget Investments in Technology and Improving Criminal Justice Outcomes

States' Budget Investments in Technology and Improving Criminal Justice Outcomes

Deborah Mohammed-Spigner (Rutgers University, USA), Brian E. Porter (Montclair State University, USA) and Lois M. Warner (Rutgers University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5966-5.ch005


Investments in criminal justice have been expanding over the decades especially as specific outcomes have been sought to address the issues surrounding crime and public safety. Reducing crime and the rate of imprisonment can both significantly impact public safety and cost savings, as well as address outcomes for the justice-involved population in reducing the rate of return to imprisonment, or recidivism. Lessening sentences for non-violent crimes and expanding drug courts as an alternative to incarceration, along with other major criminal justice reform, have led some states to experience a reduction in crime and prison population. New Jersey, Hawaii, and California have made significant strides to reduce its crime and prison populations and are leaders in achieving major criminal justice reform. This chapter seeks to examine corrections spending for these three leading states that have implemented evidence-based policies and adapted information technology to improve criminal justice outcomes. It will also outline states spending on corrections over the past five years.
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Whether It’s Improving Our Health or Harnessing Clean Energy, Protecting Our Security or Succeeding In the Global Economy, Our Future Depends On Reaffirming America’s Role As the World’s Engine of Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation. – President Barack Obama



Increasing costs and limited resources exacerbated the challenges to governments to address rising crime rates and prison population. Consequently, government initiatives focused on strategies that are evidence-based to improve overall performance and outcomes for criminal justice agencies. The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s initiatives to improve the performance of policing while reducing costs, or smart policing initiatives (SPI), formulated effective strategies for criminal justice agencies through the adoption of technologies and evidence-based practices to improve outcomes (Bureau of Justice Assistance, n.d.). The BJA documents best practices to inform strategies to improve outcomes and outlines 5 key components of smart policing initiative (SPI). These include:

  • 1.

    Performance measurement and research partnerships,

  • 2.

    Outreach and collaboration,

  • 3.

    Managing organizational change,

  • 4.

    Strategic targeting, and

  • 5.

    Making better use of intelligence and other data and information systems. (Bureau of Justice Assistance, n.d.).

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