Smarter Sentencing Act’s Impact on a Local Level

1986 --- Vials of crack and smoking pipes. --- Image by © Hugh Patrick Brown/Sygma/Corbis
vocative | Picture credit see below (1)

With roughly 2 million prisoners in the United States (that’s about 1 out of every 110 U.S. citizens), and slightly more jails and prisons than colleges and universities, it is clear that there is a problem with our criminal justice system.  Almost 50% of those in federal prisons are incarcerated because of drug related offenses; it becomes obvious where a large potion of this problem lies.  The Smarter Sentencing Act (Senate Bill 502) will undoubtedly help reduce this population and allow law enforcement to focus their attention on violent criminals.

The bill is intended to reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders in federal facilities.  It is a compromise bill designed to save money on incarceration costs, promote sentencing consistency, and give Judges more leeway with sentencing.  There will, however, be a direct impact on the local level. “In the deal struck between some of the Senate’s most conservative and liberal members, judges would have the discretion to give sentences below the mandatory minimum for nonviolent drug offenders. Some inmates could get their sentences reduced by as much as 25 percent by taking part in rehabilitation programs, if they are deemed a low risk to offend again. The bill would eliminate mandatory life sentences for three-time, non-violent offenders…. Inmates deemed to be a low risk for a repeat offense could get their prison sentences shortened by 10 days for every 30 days they participate in a rehabilitation program. These inmates could serve the last part of their sentences in community-based programs in which they would be supervised by authorities.”

CrackCokeSlide1
vocative | Picture credit see below (2)

Such a solution will likely greatly reduce the number of prisoners in the United States, however the new program does not come without its drawbacks.  In order to account for attendance to these programs and, in fact, reduce sentence times for nonviolent drug offenders, facilities will have to provide detailed reports on program participation.  This will most likely mean more administrative paperwork for prison staff and officials.

The Radianse Correctional Solution includes a robust scheduling and reporting capability allowing for efficient and accurate logging and reporting of program participation.  The accuracy and efficiency is ensured by way of our Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking of inmates, which automatically checks them into programs.  The scheduling and reporting program not only shows whether or not an inmate has attended a class, but when they both arrived and departed.  This means the most accurate possible way to account for this information.

This Application Module is a set of tools, dashboards and special features specifically designed for prisons, rehabilitation centers and other inmate facilities.  This purpose-built application centers on tracking location through defined areas to drive process improvement and enhance business decisions.  Each inmate (and staff member/volunteer) is monitored and tracked, with the resulting data being used to understand behavior patterns, improve inmate and staff safety, control contraband, understand elopement statistics, and provide insight into relationships within the facility.  This solution will provide all the functionality and data needed to meet these coming policies.

For more information on the Radianse Correctional Solutions, give us a call at (603) 994-2200.  Or, to let us know what you think about the Smarter Sentencing Act, send an email to carolyn.riel@radianse.com. We’d enjoy hearing from you!


(1) vocative | 1986 — Vials of crack and smoking pipes. — Image by © Hugh Patrick Brown/Sygma/Corbis | http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/drugs/crack-vs-coke-sentencing/

(2) vocative | http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/drugs/crack-vs-coke-sentencing/

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