When it comes to improving our society and reducing mass incarceration, there are some solutions that are becoming increasingly obvious. Diversion is a positive tool that has the potential to play a critical role in the journey toward solving the problems associated with mass incarceration. By targeting the underlying issues that led to the crime in the first place and educating offenders on the effects of their actions and consequences, effective diversionary programs open new doors for these at-risk populations, improve the long-term safety of our society and eliminate massive drain on state and local budgets.
Did you know that Kentucky has the ninth highest rate of incarceration in the nation? Kentucky has over 23,000 inmates under the state prison jurisdiction, but only half that number of prison beds available for the inmates. The state typically deals with this by housing state prisoners in county jails, creating strain at both local and state levels. Between 2000 and 2018, the number of inmates housed in local jails in Kentucky increased by 39%, and incarceration rates are continuing to rise. According to this report, “If the incarceration rates continue to rise in Kentucky at the same rate it has since 2000, every person in the state would be behind bars in 113 years.”
In 2016, the average daily cost of incarcerating someone in a state facility in Kentucky was $66.82. With the population of those incarcerated increasing, these costs are creating a huge drain on the state’s budget. Allowing first-time and low-level offenders an opportunity for diversion in place of imprisonment will be a significant first step in addressing Kentucky’s issues with mass incarceration.
Making a Difference
Incarceration rates are rising dramatically across the country. Many states deal with this by housing state prisoners in county jails, creating strain at both local and state levels. Allowing first-time and low-level offenders an opportunity for diversion in place of imprisonment will be a significant first step in addressing the budget-draining effects of mass incarceration.
Evidence-based diversion programs for low-level and first-time offenders are being embraced more and more, and various diversion programs have been implemented throughout the nation. However, many of these programs still rely on costly and inconvenient classroom delivery, creating another set of barriers for first-time and low-level offenders.
Online programs are proving to be a lower-cost and more convenient solution. Online programs using well-established CBT principles are increasingly effective in the diversion of first-time and low-level offenders from criminal recidivism. Studies have shown that the use of online diversion programs results in significantly more positive outcomes for offenders.
· The two-year recidivism rate for offenders diverted through an Advent eLearning course was 25.7%. The three-year recidivism rate was 31.6%. The five-year rearrest rate was 34.3%.
· Only 15.5% of offenders who took and Advent eLearning course were rearrested within 5 years.
· These rates are significantly lower than the reincarceration rates of offenders jailed in Kentucky who committed similar offences during the same period.
This research suggests the use of online diversion opens new doors for first-time and low-level offenders. Learn more about our program’s impact on recidivism here.
This is not only a better option for individuals facing incarceration, but for society at large. Diversion programs allow state and local governments to forego the expensive costs of sending these individuals through the court systems. Increased usage of diversion programs also alleviates the strain on state and local governments having to house more inmates in their already crowded prisons and jails.
Why Choose Advent?
Advent’s eLearning programs are designed around an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment approach. Our courses feature a variety of applications for police, prosecutor, and court-directed criminal justice applications. Whether it’s declined or deferred prosecution, pre- and post-filing diversions, sentencing alternatives, or probation sanctions, Advent’s eLearning programs offer numerous benefits to criminal justice professionals over traditional methods.
Some benefits our courses offer for criminal justice professionals over incarceration and traditional sentencing include:
· Better use of criminal justice resources for low-level offenders
· Encourages accountability for offenders
· Avoids the collateral consequences to offenders after exposure to courts and jails
· Treats out-of-area offenders who don’t have access to local courts or classrooms
· Reduces recidivism by educating offenders about behavioral impacts and change strategies
The costs of the course can be paid by the defendant or community and grant funding. The courses can be combined with Advent’s restorative justice other eLearning programs, community service, and restitution payments.
Get Started Today
Ready to get started? You can review Advent’s eLearning programs with no costs or obligations for your organization. Reach out today for a trial account or a guided demonstration.