Maricopa County, Az., the nation’s fourth most-populous county, hopes to reduce recidivism among jail inmates by spending more money on high-risk offenders and helping low-risk inmates safely reintegrate into their communities upon release, reports the Arizona Republic. The county's efforts are part of a growing national trend toward classifying inmates based on their likelihood of committing another crime and matching them with services that decrease the chances of them returning to crime.
Planning for the Transition From Jail to Community effort has been underway since 2011, when a consultant from the National Institute of Corrections began working with county criminal-justice agencies. Maricopa County has struggled with rising criminal-justice costs: 51% of the budget is spent on public safety. The Republic describes the program as a “herculean undertaking” involving all cross-sections of the criminal-justice system and community groups, including mental-health and human-services organizations.