FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patricia Connelly
Contact: Julienne James
Delaware Governor Markell to Sign Justice Reinvestment Act (S.B. 226)
NEW YORK, NY―Tomorrow afternoon, Governor Jack A. Markell will sign landmark legislation aimed at improving public safety in Delaware. The Governor is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 226, the Justice Reinvestment Act, at the New Castle County Police Department Headquarters in New Castle, Delaware, tomorrow, Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm.
Senate Bill 226 is the culmination of nearly a year of work by the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which Governor Markell convened in 2011 to study the criminal justice system. Assisted by the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, with support from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Task Force analyzed data and reviewed corrections and community supervision policies and practices to develop a package of reforms. The bill passed in the Delaware Senate in May and the Delaware House of Representatives in June with strong bipartisan support.
“We are pleased to have made available federal resources through our Justice Reinvestment Initiative to assist state officials in Delaware, who have demonstrated a bipartisan commitment to using data to identify and address challenges facing their state’s criminal justice system,” said Denise O’Donnell, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. “The Bureau of Justice Assistance looks forward to supporting the continued collaboration between Delaware and the Vera Institute of Justice as Delaware implements the reforms outlined in this landmark legislation.”
The bill encompasses a wide ranging set of reforms aimed at reducing recidivism—the rate at which those exiting prison commit new crimes. By concentrating prison and community supervision resources on the most violent and high-risk offenders, S.B. 226 is designed to control incarceration costs while improving public safety outcomes.
Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, who chaired the Task Force, will join Governor Markell at this event, as will the legislators who participated on the Task Force and who sponsored the bill, including Senator Patricia Blevins (D), Senator Liane Sorenson (R), Representative Melanie Smith (D), and Representative Greg Lavelle (R).
Delaware received assistance through the federal Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The federal JRI is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and strengthen neighborhoods. Next, Delaware’s Justice Reinvestment Task Force will focus on implementing the legislation.
S.B. 226 includes the following key provisions: