Dollars & Sense: The Economics of Criminal Justice Policies

April 10, 2003

Kent State University’s Political Science Department


Dollars & Sense: The Economics of Criminal Justice Policies
A Public Policy Symposium

April 10, 2003
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Kent Student Center
Kent, OH 44242

Ohio, like many states, is experiencing a severe budget shortfall. A major factor that has contributed to the current fiscal crisis is the growth of the state’s criminal justice system. The corrections budget alone has increased by nearly $1 billion since 1985. This financial fallout relates directly to policies that emphasized longer prison terms, mandatory sentencing, diminished parole options, and reduced rehabilitation and reentry options. Yet, while spending on education and Medicaid continue to be at the center of budget discussions, relatively little attention had been given to the costs of current criminal justice policies or viable alternatives.

The purpose of this policy symposium is to generate discussion and debate around an important issue area that affects all Ohioans and to provide a unique opportunity to teach students about the issue and public policy more generally. Co-hosted by Kent State University and Policy Matters Ohio, this symposium brings together national and state scholars to share their work and insights on the economic impacts of criminal justice policies. The meeting also brings to the table policy practitioners, state and local policy makers, and community leaders involved in legislating and implementing innovative programs designed to mediate the economic challenges associated with criminal justice policies.

Symposium Agenda

**Click here for more information about the symposium’s participants.**

8:45 AM – Registration and Continental Breakfast (Ballroom Balcony)

9:30 AM – Welcoming Remarks (Ballroom Balcony)

Mark Cassell, Asst. Prof., Department of Political Science, Kent State

Pamela Tontodonato, Acting Chair, Department of Justice Studies, Kent State

10 AM – Concurrent Panel Discussions: Economic Challenges of Criminal Justice Policies

Budgets & Priorities: (Room 313)

Panel Members:

Fritz Rauchenberg, Sr. Policy Researcher, State of Ohio

Vincent Schiraldi, President, Justice Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

Eric Fingerhut, Ohio State Senate, Ranking Minority Leader on the Ohio Senate Finance Committee

Drew Alexander, Sheriff, Summit County

Moderator: Karen Mossberger, Asst. Prof., Department of Political Science, Kent State

Equality & Opportunity: (Room 315)

Panel Members:

Bruce Western, Prof., Princeton University

Wornie Reed, Prof., Cleveland State University

Moderator: Shannon Smithey, Ass. Prof., Department of Justice Studies, Kent State

Noon – Lunch & Keynote Speaker (Room 306)

Diedre Badejo, Chair, Department of Pan-African Studies, Kent State

Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

“Images of Prison & Justice” – Andrew Lichtenstein, Photojournalist, New York

2 PM – Concurrent Panel Discussions: Solutions to the Economic Challenges of Criminal Justice Policies

Reentry Programs: (Room 316)

Panel Members:

Lateefah Simon, Executive Director, Center for Young Women’s Development, San Francisco

Dan Elliott, Director of Advocacy, Lutheran Metro Ministry

David Smith, Sheriff, Columbiana County

Moderator: Mwatabu Okantah, Lecturer, Department of Pan-African Studies, Kent State

Innovations: Community Incarceration, Drug Courts, and RECLAIM: (Room 315)

Panel Members:

Leigh Herington, Ohio State Senate, Ranking Minority Leader on the Ohio State Senate Judiciary Committee on Criminal Justice

Nancy Marion, Prof., University of Akron

Read Professor Marion’s recent report, Community Corrections in Ohio, released with the Justice Policy Institute and Policy Matters Ohio.

Kathleen Hale, Sr. Researcher, Oriana House, Akron

Timothy Swanson, Sheriff, Stark County

Linda Modry, Ohio Department of Youth Services

Charles C. Cavano, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court

Moderator: Amy Hanauer, Executive Director, Policy Matters Ohio

Prisons as Economic Development: (Room 313)

Panel Members:

Tracy Huling, Co-director, National Resources Center on Prisons and Communities, Prison Reform Advocacy Center, Cincinnati

Ken Lengieza, Director, Marion County Regional Planning Commission

Moderator: Bakari Kitwana, Author and Researcher, Cleveland

4 PM – Summary Wrap-up Session (Ballroom Balcony)

Moderators from each session will briefly summarize discussions.

Moderator: Tom Henley, Chair, Department of Political Science, Kent State

5 PM – Reception (Ballroom Balcony)

This event would not have been made possible without the support of the following:  Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Provost, Research and Graduate Studies, University Research Council, Department of Justice Studies, Department of Pan-African Studies, and Department of Political Science, and Policy Matters Ohio.


Other Participant Links

Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office
Justice Policy Institute
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Ohio State Senate
Prison Reform Advocacy Center
Stark County Sheriff’s Office
Summit County Sheriff’s Office

Center for Young Women’s Development
Oriana House, Inc.
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry


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