Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northwestern University
- New policies should seek to alter current trajectories that begin with individuals growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods, attending underperforming schools in those neighborhoods and often being incarcerated in overpopulated prisons.
- The most promising way to decrease our reliance on incarceration is to adopt an approach that will not only reduce our reliance on incarceration in the short term but also offer demonstrate crime prevention benefits in the long term.
- Money saved by diverting offenders from prison into the community should be used to rebuild infrastructure, attract businesses, invest in schools, build playgrounds, and increase a community’s capacity for informal social control.
- Reinvesting in schools and community recreation areas offer an opportunity for altering the trajectories of youth residing disadvantaged communities.
In the article, “Altering Trajectories through Community-Based Justice Reinvestment,” Frost examines the relationship between disadvantaged communities, crime and incarceration. Frost relies upon previous studies which examined the communities, crime and incarceration in neighborhoods in Baltimore, Tallahassee and Boston to determine how justice reinvestment could alter the current trajectory often observed – disadvantaged neighborhood to underperforming schools, to incarceration. Frost concludes that diverting funds saved by reducing incarceration are best used for community improvements. These improvements, including rebuilding infrastructure, attracting businesses, investing in schools, building playgrounds, and increasing a community’s capacity for informal social control to discourage criminal behavior, can best alter current trajectories that often begin in the community.