Entries by Erin Thomassen

Prison as a “Parallel Universe”: Incentives for Inmates

If inmates’ conditions of confinement are completely predetermined, what incentive do they have to comply with behavioral code, or dedicate themselves to educational, employment, or health-improvement programs while in prison? Professional advancement and other measures of success outside of prison are strongly correlated with individual behavior. Unfortunately, most correctional facilities do not have systems in […]

Success-Oriented Funding: A Proven Model for Criminal Justice Financing

With more than 2 million Americans in jail and 68 million with a criminal record, it is worth asking: why do Federal grants reward increased arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration instead of reduced crime? Inimai Chettair and Nicole Fortair from the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law suggest a transition to more […]

Improving Accountability through Independent Correctional Oversight

With unacceptably high rates of sexual assault and recidivism, today’s prisons are in dire need of increased accountability and transparency. Since prisons are closed institutions, the public rarely knows what happens inside—unless inmates take their horror stories to court or a tragedy is exposed in the media. The U.S. remains one of the only nations […]