A challenge shared by all jails is predicting changes in their population so that they can make the most effective and efficient use of the costly resource of secure confinement. To address this challenge, JSP and MW Consulting worked together to develop the Projection and Strategy Model-Jail (PSM-Jail), a dynamic, web-based model that uses research-based methods to forecast jail populations and identify potential strategies for managing programs and resources.
Jail administrators are constantly being asked to respond to changes in local, state and federal ordinances, laws and practices that alter both the size and nature of their jail populations. In this environment, the PSM-Jail helps jurisdictions understand how different policy options and decisions will affect jail bed and program space. Integrated into the model are strategies tied to particular types of offenders, so that administrators can explore ways to potentially reduce both the need for the incarceration of members of these groups and their likelihood of reoffending.
For example, if a proposal is suggested that would lengthen the sentence of a population, jail administrators can use the PSM-Jail to determine how the longer sentences would affect jail bed use. Or if 35 percent of a jail’s inmates are substance abuse/possession offenders, the model can identify strategies that could be implemented to reduce the likelihood that members of this group will reoffend. The PSM-Jail provides information on the evidence behind each strategy it identifies, along with reference material and additional informational links.
To learn more and to register for the PSM-Jail, click here: justicesystempartners.org/psmjail
The PSM-Jail was developed thanks to support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.