A new focus to improve criminal justice programs is getting more public support, thanks to lower crime rates and more research into keeping criminals from committing new crimes, former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Laurie Robinson told the Delaware Center for Justice yesterday, reports the Wilmington News Journal. “We're seeing something akin to a revolution in criminal justice in this country,” said Robinson, now on the faculty of George Mason University. “We're at an important crossroads, one where ideology has taken a back seat, and science and pragmatism have come to the fore.”
While Delaware's violent crime rate is among the nation's highest, overall crime rates have been falling for the past two decades. Robinson says the decline has allowed the public to think more critically about crime. “With lower crime rates, crime is simply a less politically fraught issue these days,” she said. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden echoed Robinson's support of inmate re-entry services. “Arresting more people and putting them in jail isn't the answer,” he said. “We need to equip them with the tools they need to keep from going back through the revolving door of prison.” The News Journal analyzed more than a decade's worth of data and found nearly 60 percent of Delaware's offenders faced a new serious criminal charge within three years of their release from prison.