Impact of Legislation

Impact of Legislation

Since 2001, there have been a number of legislative changes pertaining to criminal sentencing policies in various states especially the increasing emphasis on approaches that are referred as “smart to crime” (Pankratz, 2009).  There have been many changes in the criminal justice docket and the three main areas include strengthening of alternatives to incarceration, re-defining and reclassification of criminal offenses and reduction of prison terms. The changes taking place in the criminal justice are mainly targeted at legislators, its staff as well as other policy makers who may be making considerations or are playing an important role in implementing such changes in sentencing statutes and policies.

Federal, state and local leaders have been ascertaining various innovative ways targeting at improving public safety and public health outcomes, while at the same time leading to reduction of costs incurred in criminal justice. Several pioneering strategies can play an important role in saving public funds as well as improvement of the public health through ensuring keeping of low-risk, offenders involved in drugs out of jail or prison while still ensuring public safety and making sure they are answerable (Donaldson, 2008).

The current government is involved in funding and evaluation of the effects of the identified inventive correctional interventions and criminal justice. As the federal agencies are continuing to look for opportunities aimed at expanding smart probation as well as problem solving court initiatives around the country (McEwen, 2009).  This is done in collaboration with the tribal, local and state agencies. The changes have had a considerable impact on cost reduction, improvement of outcomes fro offenders and have led to improved public safety. This has prompted an increasing number of officials at state, federal and local level around the country to start their own promising initiatives targeting at breaking the cycle of crime, incarceration and use of drugs.


Donaldson, L. (2008). Developing a progressive advocacy program within a human services agency. Administration in Social Work, 32(2), p.25-48.

McEwen, E. (2009). The public/private partnership. Policy & Practice, 67(2), p.11-13.

Pankratz, C. J. (2009). Cross-national comparisons of family policies: The relevance of national approaches to social welfare. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 40(3), p.493-511.





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