Public Safety Crime Control, Policing
February 28th, 2024 2 Minute Read Public Filings by Rafael A. Mangual

Testimony Before the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism

Rafael A. Mangual testified in a hearing entitled The Nation’s Correctional Staffing Crisis: Assessing the Toll on Correctional Officers and Incarcerated Persons.

Watch the full testimony here

Chairman Booker, Ranking Member Cotton, and all other members of this distinguished body, I’d like to begin by thanking you for the opportunity to offer remarks on this important topic.

The first duty of any government—whether local, state, or federal—is to keep its people and their property secure. One of the primary ways in which governments provide that security is through criminal justice systems. The police are the most visible elements of these systems, but they’re certainly not the only ones. Indeed, their effectiveness depends in large part on other criminal justice actors. Prosecutors still need to prosecute, judges still need to adjudicate and sentence, and, crucially, correctional institutions need to secure and hopefully better the prisoners they take in.

Effectively managing a correctional population, however, requires investment. Unfortunately, we have seen throughout this country an unwillingness to adequately invest in corrections as decarceration—the pursuit of correctional population declines—has become both a policy priority in its own right, but also the preferred means of alleviating the pressures on the corrections system created by staffing shortages, facility maintenance costs, and overcrowding.

Click here to read the full testimony.


Rafael Mangual is the Nick Ohnell Fellow and head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. He is also the author of Criminal (In)Justice: What the Push for Decarceration and Depolicing Gets Wrong and Who It Hurts Most


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