Community Engagement Costs Housing November 22, 2021

Funding Housing Solutions to Reduce Jail Incarceration

Madeline Brown, Jessica Perez, Matthew Eldridge, and Kelly Walsh at The Urban Institute

As counties across the United States search for ways to reduce the oversized and racially disproportionate footprint of our criminal justice system, many are looking upstream—to housing and the evidence that connects it to economic stability and overall well-being. This report presents four approaches to housing programs and policies that show promise to reduce jail incarceration and address structural barriers, as well as funding options for such approaches. The findings are based on an extensive literature review and three private roundtables held in 2020 with practitioners, people with lived experience of jail incarceration, and subject matter experts across housing, behavioral health, and criminal justice sectors. We identified the following investment-ready approaches that should guide the use of resources—public or private—aimed at reducing the impact of the jail system: (1) provide housing without (or with few) conditions, (2) support the whole person to achieve housing stability, (3) fund multiple pathways to promote housing stability, and (4) plan for release before release.


Data Analysis Jail Populations Pretrial and Bail May 13, 2021

Connection to Care in a Municipal Jail Setting

Jesse Jannetta and Travis Reginal, the Urban Institute

This brief examines the C2C pilot in Long Beach and its efforts to improve connections to behavioral health and social services for people who meet the definition of “high-frequency utilizers” (HFUs) of the jail, as defined by the City of Long Beach. It is one in a series of briefs supported by the Innovation Fund, an initiative sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. It situates the C2C pilot within Long Beach’s broader strategy to reduce jail incarceration among HFUs, outlines strengths and challenges in C2C’s implementation, and provides lessons for other localities seeking to better coordinate services for people who frequently cycle in and out of jail.


Data Analysis Jail Populations Pretrial and Bail November 19, 2020

Dollars and Sense In Cook County

Don Stemen and David Olson (Loyola University Chicago)

This report by researchers at the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice at Loyola University Chicago analyzes the impact of bond reform in Cook County on felony bond court decisions, pretrial release, and crime. Researchers evaluated a 2017 general order by Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County Timothy Evans reevaluating the use of monetary bail in Cook County. Using independent data, researchers found that Judge Evans’ general order increased the number of people released pretrial and was not associated with any significant change in new criminal activity, violent or otherwise, and was not associated with any change in the amount of crime in Chicago after 2017.


Courts Data Analysis Pretrial and Bail June 25, 2020

The Present And Future Of AI In Pre-Trial Risk Assessment Instruments

Alexandra Chouldechova and Kristian Lum

From music and romantic partner recommendation, to medical diagnosis and disease outbreak detection, to automated essay scoring, “Artificial intelligence” (AI) systems are being used to tackle prediction, classification, and detection tasks that impact nearly every sphere of our lives. Since the fundamental task of pre-trial risk assessment instruments is one of prediction, we anticipate that the success of AI technology in these other domains will inspire an increase in the availability of AI-based pre-trial risk assessment instruments in the coming years. The purpose of this critical issue brief is primarily to equip practitioners considering adopting an AI-based pre-trial risk assessment tool to consider questions relevant to determining whether adopting such a system a will result in better predictions and ultimately move their jurisdiction towards fairer, more just and decarceral pre-trial decisionmaking that respects civil and human rights.

Additional Downloads

Implementation Guide

Interagency Collaboration Jail Costs Pretrial and Bail June 12, 2019

Paid in Full: A Plan to End Money Injustice in New Orleans

Vera Institute of Justice

The role that money—in the form of bail, fines and fees—plays in criminal justice systems has come under increased focus. These practices have long plagued New Orleans, driving jail incarceration and costing struggling families—most of them black—millions. By taking the actions set out in this report, Criminal District Court judges, the mayor, and city council members will make New Orleans the first city in the country to replace money bail and conviction fees with a fair, safety-promoting, and financially stable system of justice.