Assessing the Efficacy of Alternatives to Incarceration within Seven Federal Districts
The crisis of over-incarceration led to a widespread recognition among criminal justice professionals and policy-makers that much needed reform was in order. In 2014, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to assess the federal criminal justice system and make recommendations to Congress for long-lasting systemic, yet practical reforms. The report issued in January 2016 included six broad recommendations. Recommendation 1: Reserve prison for those convicted of the most serious federal crimes included the component “Encourage and incentivize alternatives to incarceration … Prosecutors and judges should employ alternatives to incarceration in their districts when appropriate, including front-end diversion courts, problem-solving courts (such as drug courts), and evidence-based probation (such as employment of swift and certain sanctions)” (Urban Institute, 2016).