BetaGov Blog

Deliberative Corrections

Posted on August, 2016     By Angela Hawken

Inside of an empty prison cell block

The people most affected by criminal justice policies are rarely consulted in developing those policies or associated programs and practices. We would like to change that. To address this failure to engage we created Deliberative Corrections.

Our Deliberative Corrections strategy takes a new approach to addressing problems in corrections (both in custody and in the community). The crucial feature of Deliberative Corrections is stakeholder input, collected and discussed in the field in small-group formats, where all voices have equal standing. In this way, we support organic development of practicable innovations and we encourage testing before large-scale implementation. The individuals most closely involved thus have a platform to provide information about the needs and issues that are most salient to them, from their perspectives, in their words, including suggestions for possible solutions. Deliberative Corrections builds trust and rapport among stakeholders, including incarcerated individuals, corrections officers, probation/parole officers, mental health professionals, administrators, staff, law enforcement, community representatives, policymakers, and families of incarcerated individuals and of crime victims.