9:15 – 10:45 amGrits was pleased to be asked to participate and after a preparatory conference call yesterday with the other panel members, I think the group has a lot to say on the subject and there are more lessons to be drawn than one might think at first glance from Texas' experience on the criminal justice front to the issues surrounding immigration detention and alternatives to incarceration. I'm looking forward to it.
Alternatives to Detention: Models and Best Practices
Alternatives to detention and community-based release programs have been repeatedly demonstrated to lead to substantial cost savings and high compliance rates in both the immigration detention system and in pre-trial services programs in the criminal justice system. Currently, ICE spends about $2 billion per year on detention, to house almost 400,000 individuals, and $72 million on alternatives for just 23,000. Texas county jails hold about 64,000 individuals daily, almost 60 percent of whom are classified as pre-trial. Particularly at a time when local, state, and federal governments are all facing severe fiscal crises, the immigration detention and corrections systems could be decreasing spending on detention, and reallocating funds to increased investment in effective and rights-respecting alternatives.
What are the elements of a successful alternatives program? What is the definition of success? What is the role of risk assessment tools in an alternatives program? Can bonds be used as assurance in a way that does not disadvantage individuals simply because they do not have money? How can alternatives save taxpayer dollars?
● Ana Yáñez-Correa, Ph.D., Executive Director, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
● Jennifer Long, Executive Director, Casa Marianella
● Carol Oeller, Director, Harris County (TX) Pre-Trial Services
● Representative Jerry Madden (R-67), Chairman, Texas House Corrections Committee
● Oren Root, Director, Center on Immigration and Justice, Vera Institute of Justice
Moderator: Scott Henson, author of the Texas criminal justice blog ‘Grits for Breakfast’
Friday, September 07, 2012
'Applying Lessons From Criminal Justice Reform to the Immigration Detention System"
I wanted to give readers a heads up about an event next Wednesday at UT-Austin"s LBJ School of Public Affairs sponsored by the group Human Rights First, where Grits will be moderating a panel on the subject of alternatives to detention in the immigration system, drawing on lessons from pretrial services program in the criminal justice realm. See the agenda (pdf). The all-day event, with the same title as this post, is open to the public and the whole thing looks quite interesting. Below the jump, see more information on the panel I'll be participating in: