Revise sentencing practices to prioritize prison space for people convicted of serious and violent offenses.

  • Identify the percentage of people in prison for property and drug offenses and determine how long they stay in prison.
  • Identify whether similarly serious offenses receive similarly severe penalties.
  • Update property theft and drug possession felony thresholds, as needed.
  • Refine sentencing policies and guidelines to establish penalties for property and drug offenses that are proportionate to the seriousness of the offense.

Promote success on supervision and use proportionate sanctions to respond to violations.

  • Require supervision agencies to employ a range of incentives and sanctions to respond to behavior on supervision in a timely manner.
  • Promote using a greater proportion of incentives than sanctions to encourage behavior change on supervision.
  • Require supervision agencies to establish a structured decision-making framework for responding to behavior on supervision.
  • Require supervision agencies to respond to probation and parole violations with more effective and less costly sanctions.

Improve the efficiency and consistency of the parole decision-making process and preparation for release.

  • Prioritize finite prison space for people convicted of the most serious offenses, and prepare other people for release at their minimum parole eligibility, absent compelling circumstances to hold them beyond this time.
  • Use criminogenic risk and needs assessments to determine a person’s programming needs in prison and to prioritize programs for people who have the highest risk of reoffending and criminogenic needs.
  • Require paroling authorities to collaborate with institutional corrections agencies to agree on the risk-reduction requirements for parole and to develop reentry plans that support timely release.
  • Require parole boards to use parole guidelines that account for factors that demonstrate a person’s readiness for parole, including risk and needs assessment results, to inform release decision making.
  • Reduce barriers to reentry through supporting a range of housing, treatment, and programming options for people upon release from prison.