“We all realized that unless we made some important changes, the prison population would continue to grow significantly. That would mean spending much more without actually addressing the causes. I applaud everyone who worked tirelessly to produce the legislation that I was pleased to sign. For the people of Idaho, it will mean safer communities and better use of taxpayer dollars.”1

Governor C.L. Otter addressed the criminal justice issues in connection with the Council of State Governments. Although there is a particularly low crime rate in Idaho, it has been growing steadily in recent years as recidivism begins to become a problem. And a low crime rate does not indicate a low incarceration rate. Despite having one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, Idaho is only slightly below average regarding its incarceration rate. This happens because the state has substantially longer prison stays for its non-violent offenders, coming in at twice the national length.2

The new legislation Gov. Otter has signed into law is part of a justice reinvestment strategy that aims to lower costs and increase safety by addressing criminal justice in the most efficient way possible.

The legislation will strengthen supervision and evidence-based programs that lower recidivism as well as tailoring supervision sanctions in order to decrease the likelihood that a technical violation will result in reimprisonment. Restructuring parole to prioritize prison space for violent and high-risk offenders is also a part of this plan.

The state was set up to spend 288 million dollars in construction and operating costs by FY 2019, but with the 4 million this legislation will cost, they are expecting to avoid that cost.

In State of the State Addresses, Conservative Governors Highlight Criminal Justice Reform

Right on Crime | March 3, 2015
This winter, Governors’ across the country are making their State of the State address, summing up past accomplishments and highlighting the priorities that they hold for their administrations. After…

Study Finds Idaho Last in Protecting Juvenile Records

Right on Crime | November 21, 2014
Geoffrey Talmon of the Idaho Freedom Foundation reviews the recent Juvenile Law Center survey of how America’s states protect the records of juvenile offenders in their criminal justice systems. As the…

IdahoReporter: Idaho spends nearly $40 million annually to lock up drug offenders

Right on Crime | February 10, 2014
    This article by IdahoReporter.com features Marc Levin’s suggestions for Idaho sentencing reform. “All the research shows it is the swiftness and sureness of the sanction more than…

“Unlikely allies asking lawmakers to consider a new model for prison reform”

Right on Crime | January 23, 2014
Courtesy of IdahoReporter.com Marc Levin teamed up with the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss smart reforms with Idaho lawmakers.   Click here for…

The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s 2013 Legislative Preview

Right on Crime | November 27, 2012
On Friday, December 7th, the Idaho Freedom Foundation will host a 2013 Legislative Preview at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Boise. The event begins at 8:00 AM, and at…

King v. United States and the Overfederalization of Criminal Law

Right on Crime | July 20, 2012
Near the end of the recent Supreme Court term, as the justices announced several headline-grabbing opinions (including, of course, NFIB v. Sebelius), one decision unfortunately slipped below the public…
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