Nevada state capitol building exterior

CARSON CITY, Nevada — Governor Brian Sandoval announced today the launch of an extensive review of the Nevada’s criminal justice system in an effort to develop comprehensive and data-driven sentencing, release, and corrections policies. By kicking off the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, state leaders will develop policy recommendations to improve public safety outcomes, reduce recidivism and control corrections costs with assistance from the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI).

Nevada has the third-highest violent crime rate in the country, with the highest robbery rate and seventh-highest homicide rate. At the same time, the state is experience severe shortages in mental health care providers and the opioid epidemic continues to fuel a public health crisis. Additionally, Nevada’s prison population is growing, with a 20 percent increase in the state’s prison budget since 2012. All the while this growth in the prison population and corrections costs has not resulted in improved outcomes, as recidivism rates remain high. Nearly 30 percent of Nevada prison discharges fail in the community within three years of release.

At the invitation of Nevada state leaders, the CJI team will provide technical assistance to the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice as it reviews Nevada’s criminal justice system, helping the state to develop a set of evidence-based and fiscally sound reforms to better protect public safety, holds offenders accountable, and contain corrections costs.

Click here to read the press release from the governor’s office.

Click here to read coverage in the Nevada Independent.