Sunday, June 12, 2011

Background: HB 463 as Evidence-Based Policy-Making

It is evident to anyone who surveys the contents of HB 463 that it is a penetrating reform affecting almost every facet of the criminal justice system.  But it is more than that.  It is, in fact, the instantiation of a coherent set of policy decisions which all have one thing in common:  they have been proven to work.  The best way to understand why HB 463 makes the changes it does is to understand HB 463 as a model of evidence-based policy-making.

Evidence-based policy-making is being applied throughout the criminal justice system nationwide - from best ways to deal with status offenders in juvenile court to best practices in re-entry of adult offenders back into the community.  The PEW Center for the States helps states to identify evidence-based policies and incorporate those policies into effective legislation. 

Here is a link to their report on Kentucky.  The final report of the Kentucky Task Force on the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act, incorporating PEW suggestions into the Kentucky justice system, can be found here.  (Note: HB 463 did not include every recommendation in the report.)

Contributed by Glenn McClister