Real-time data is crucial in delivering actionable information, yet sparse in the criminal justice space. Often, practitioners and policy makers (“System Actors”), are forced to rely on information that is missing, incorrect, and/or outdated. Recidiviz, a nonpartisan tech non-profit, enables System Actors to make data-driven decisions as part of their regular workflows.

This article describes Recidiviz’s work modeling the projected influence of eliminating mandatory minimums in Virginia, including state costs avoided, impact on the prison population, and number of life-years individuals would regain by avoiding incarceration. Recidiviz calculated that if Virginia eliminated mandatory minimums for drug sales offenses only, over the next five years, it could avoid a cumulative $11.6 million in incarceration costs, give 360 years of life back to people, and decrease the prison population’s racial disparity. If Virginia eliminated all mandatory minimums, as SB 5046 proposes, it could help the Commonwealth avoid $80.2 million in costs and give back 2,496 years of life over five years.

In addition to policy impact modeling, Recidiviz’s core work is in partnering with state corrections and supervision departments to provide real-time feedback and data visualization tools.

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