In 2013, the Idaho Legislature created the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Interim Committee to study and identify data-driven, fiscally responsible policies and practices that can increase public safety, reduce recidivism and reduce spending on corrections. An interbranch working group also was created to support the efforts. In early 2014, the Legislature adopted the Justice Reinvestment Act, based on recommendations from the interim committee and working group. Funding for the corrections department was increased to improve the quality of offender supervision and lower officer caseloads. An oversight committee will monitor and analyze implementation of the law and study the potential of future reinvestment and resource allocation.
Authorizes a legislative interim committee to study data driven, fiscally responsible policies and practices that can increase public safety, reduce recidivism and reduce spending on corrections. Requires the committee to report its findings and recommendations by the 2014 legislative session. Requests justice reinvestment technical assistance.
Requires all probation terms be a fixed length. Requires the use of evidence-based practices for offender supervision, including use of risk assessments to guide supervision responses, case planning and substance abuse treatment. Requires the use of swift, certain and graduated sanctions and rewards for violations of and compliance with terms of supervision. Specifies potential sanctions and rewards. Authorizes short periods of confinement for first and second technical violations of parole rather than revoking supervision. Requires the corrections department to develop a case plan for inmates upon entry into prison and administer risk assessments prior to parole hearings. Requires the parole commission to establish guidelines and procedures for parole release decisions that incorporate risk assessment, criminal history, program completion, institutional misconduct, and other relevant characteristics and have the goal of reducing the average time served for property and drug convictions. Requires the use of risk assessment to set conditions of parole supervision. Authorizes the correction’s board to submit a request for an order of final discharge to the parole commission for a parolee or to the court for a probationer. Requires initial and ongoing staff training in evidence-based supervision practices and use of risk assessments. Requires an evaluation of state-funded programs to ensure service delivery is scientifically-based and an annual report to the Legislature on savings generated and changes in the prison population as a result of this law.
Makes a supplemental appropriation for FY 2015 to the Department of Corrections and the Commission on Pardons and Parole for policies enacted in SB 1357 (2014). Authorizes an increase of 7.5 full-time equivalent positions for the department. Increases funds for the commission to hire a qualified information technology position to assess and improve technology needs of the commission and to integrate information systems with the department. States the intent that funds appropriated to the department for community-based substance abuse treatment be used for treatment, drug testing and cognitive programming to reduce offender criminality and recidivism.
Creates the Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reinvestment Oversight to monitor, study and guide analysis and policy development for the state criminal justice system, including monitoring performance and outcome measures as set forth in the Justice Reinvestment Act and studying the data-driven justice reinvestment and resource allocation approach. Requires an annual report to the Legislature. Terminates the committee following the annual report to the Legislature in 2019.
Full summaries of legislation can be found in NCSL’s Sentencing and Corrections Enactment Database.
Return to NCSL’s Justice Reinvestment State Resources page or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice program.