House Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) took his case for evidence-based anticrime programs to the American Probation and Parole Association this week in Washington, D.C. Scott, addressing the 35th annual association training institute, said in prepared remarks that what works in fighting crime “are not emotion-based, but evidence-based, practices. So, even in the face of the political games that are being played in Congress and the state legislatures, it is critical for you to remain committed to learning, implementing, and developing practices that are based in what actually works, and not what just sounds good.”
Scott used part of his appearance to promote his Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education proposal, with the acronym PROMISE. Scott wants to create local counils that assess the local youth crime problem and plan crime prevention efforts. He said studies have shown that on average, evidenced-based prevention and intervention programs save about $5 for every $1 dollar spent. Scott said that if PROMISE organizations “were established in the 10 states where incarceration of African Americans is at a rate of 4,000 persons per 100,000 and we got the rate down to the point where we incarcerated people at a rate of no more than 500 per 100,000, we have savings enough for $10,000 per at-risk child.” The proposal has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee but its chances of enactment are uncertain.