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Plain Talk: North Dakota is on the cutting edge of prison data

When it comes to criminal justice policy, and more specifically, the sort of policy that deals with incarcerating people, the most important thing for us to remember is that most people who are put in prison will eventually get out.

According to a public-facing data dashboard from the North Dakota Department of Corrections, about 64% of people incarcerated in our state spend less than a year there.

About 92% spend three years or less behind bars.

If those folks are eventually going to be in our communities again, if they’re going to be our neighbors, customers and coworkers, then shouldn’t we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to ensure they’re ready to be out of prison again?https://play.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/27982953/height/192/theme/modern/size/large/thumbnail/yes/custom-color/000000/time-start/00:00:00/playlist-height/200/direction/backward/download/yes

That’s what we talked about on this episode of Plain Talk. The data dashboard I just used to bring you those statistics was developed by a nonprofit called Recidiviz. They were founded by Google engineers and developed for North Dakota a criminal justice data system that allows our state to better organize our corrections resources.

In fact, North Dakota was the first state the organization worked with.

Dave Krabbenhoft, the director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Lily Fielding, a state engagement director for Recidiviz, joined this episode of Plain Talk to talk about the cutting-edge work they’re doing.

Also on this episode, co-host Ben Hanson and I talk about how North Dakota taxes are always going up, and never down, and what that might mean for our debate about eliminating property taxes.

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