For the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, I’ve posted a brief report suggesting reform to Rhode Island criminal justice system, helping families to break the cycle of crime and familial breakdown. With my interest in how the state government functions to restrict our freedoms and perpetuate a public-sector-first business model, the most important piece is also the one least likely to generate supportive legislation:
… it isn’t surprising Rhode Island has the lowest incarceration rate in the country. It is surprising, however, that the Ocean State’s probation and parole rate is fourth highest. That, in turn, leads to a high rate of recidivism, with 52% of former prisoners re-arrested within three years.
As researchers find to be true with other government programs, Rhode Island’s cost to supervise and provide services to prisoners and parolees is high (over $58,000 per prisoner). One might conclude that the state has an institutional bias against letting go of residents once they fall within its net of supervision.
Criminal justice reform is not only the right thing to do for Rhode Island families, it’s also a good example of the bureaucratic mentality that is strangling our state. For reforms to be sufficient, they’ll have to begin treating that attitude as the crime that it is.