The following are resources and links that discuss the criminal justice system and many smart justice reforms. We attempt to keep the links current. Please contact us if a link is no longer accurate or working so that we can correct it.


Resources and Programs from Montgomery County, MD, compiled by Cam Zorrozua from the Center for Justice

Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform website
Justice Reinvestment Advisory information from PEW

Pretrial services
Pretrial supervision
Alternative Community Services
Racial Inequity Graph

The jail in Montgomery County
STEER (LEAD program)
STEER fact sheet

Smart Justice Spokane Candidate Questionnaire

A questionnaire about smart-justice related issues was sent to candidates in the Nov. 7 2017 election. Click here to read the their responses: Candidate Questionnaire

Alternatives to Incarceration

  • Brennan Center for Justice:The Brennan Center’s Justice Program seeks to create a rational and effective criminal and civil justice system that treats all people fairly and equally by reducing mass incarceration, closing the justice gap, and ensuring racial equality within these systems.
  • Center for Court Innovations: Provides reviews and research related to many alternatives to incarceration and comprehensive support services.
  • Municipal Research and Services Center for Washington: Provides information and links to county and city criminal justice programs in Washington.
  • Justice Policy Institute (JPI): JPI is dedicated to reducing the use of incarceration and the justice system by promoting fair and effective policies. JPI envisions a society with safe, equitable, and healthy communities; just and effective solutions to social problems; and the use of incarceration only as a last resort.
  • Pew Center on the States, Prison Count: Identifies reasons why alternatives to incarceration can reduce the prison population.

Cost of Incarceration and Alternatives to Incarceration

  • Center for Economic and Policy Research: The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration, June 2010. “In 2008, federal, state, and local governments spent about $75 billion on corrections, the large majority of which was spent on incarceration” (p. 2).
  • Pew Center on the States: State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons, April 2011. “The national average cost per day to house an inmate is $78.95. This is “more than 20 times the cost of a day on probation” (p. 6).
  • Washington State Institute of Public Policy: Conducts research and publishes reports on the cost-benefit analysis of alternatives to incarceration and comprehensive support services.
  • The Human Toll of Jail, Vera Institute of Justice.

Drug Courts

Legal Financial Obligations

Mental Illness

Non-Violent Offenders

  • Center for Economic and Policy Research, “The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration”:
    • 8 % of individuals incarcerated in 2008 (1,424,238 people) were incarcerated in jails or state or federal prison for non-violent offenses (p. 9).
    • “Arrests and convictions for drug offenses have increased dramatically over the last three decades, with non-violent drug offenders now accounting for about one-fourth of all offenders behind bars” (p. 8).
    • “Reducing the number of non-violent offenders in our prisons and jails by half would lower [the cost to taxpayers] by $16.9 billion per year, with the largest share of these savings accruing to financially squeezed state and local governments” (p. 2).

Number of Individuals Incarcerated

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics: Provides many reports and publications related to criminal justice statistics. In 2010, 2,266,800 individuals were incarcerated in the United States in local jails or in state or federal prisons.
  • Center for Economic and Policy Research, The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration: “The United States … incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world.” In 2008-09, it was estimated that the incarceration rate in the U.S. was 753 individuals per 100,000, which “was three times higher than the country with the next-highest incarceration rate, Poland, with a rate of 224.” By way of contrast, Iceland’s rate is 44/100,000 and Canada’s rate is 116/100,000 (pp. 1, 4).

Pretrial Services

Procedural Justice

Racial & Ethnic Disparity in Criminal Justice System

Restorative Justice


Pew Center on the States (State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door or America’s Prisons):

  • “Recidivism rates [for state prisoners] between 1994 and 2007 have consistently remained around 40 percent.” That means that 4 of 10 prisoners were returned to prison within 3 years of their initial release. Recidivism can be reduced by the use of “sophisticated risk assessments, meticulous reentry planning, and post-release supervision carefully tailored to each offender’s circumstances.” Oregon used these means to reduce recidivism to 22.8% (p. 2-3, 19-20).
  • Washington State released 8,093 inmates between 2004 and 2007 with a recidivism rate of 42.9% (p. 11).


Research Based Criminal Justice Reforms


Spokane County