U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance Addresses Alabama Prison Reform Taskforce
MONTGOMERY – In a meeting of the Alabama Prison Reform Taskforce, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance affirmed the Department of Justice’s support for the taskforce to conduct the process of Justice Reinvestment. Since 2010, Vance has collaborated with state criminal justice agencies through the North Alabama Reentry Council in an effort to implement best practices to improve public safety by reducing criminal recidivism.
Vance told taskforce members that federal and state prosecutors are diligent in their prosecution of criminals, but, she added, "We can't just be tough on crime. We must also be smart."
“The Department of Justice does not support Justice Reinvestment only because it is cost-efficient," Vance said. "Justice Reinvestment reduces crime and lowers criminal recidivism by giving offenders the support and training to get off drugs and get jobs.”
The Alabama Prison Reform Taskforce is a legislatively created body of representatives from a multitude of Alabama’s governmental agencies, which is charged to work with the Council of State Governments to implement Justice Reinvestment policies.
Justice Reinvestment is a data-driven process where jurisdictions evaluate current practices in criminal justice and redesign policies to become more effective in reducing crime and costs. Justice Reinvestment initiatives have been implemented in 17 states, saving a projected $4.6 billion over 10 years, Vance said. For 2014 alone, the Department of Justice has committed $85 million for Justice Reinvestment initiatives.
"We have a narrow timeframe for action," Vance said. "But, through your action, we can achieve the level of success that other states have reaped."