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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2023

Wisconsin vs. Oregon: Community Justice-Oriented Reform and its Effect on Recidivism

Anise Madeline Shipley

Senior, Sociology with an Emphasis in Equity and Diversity


Wisconsin has made attempts in reducing the recidivism rates of those who have been incarcerated, but there is still a long way to go. Oregon is a model state with the lowest rates of recidivism in the United States, attributed to its practices of community-oriented rehabilitation backed by evidence-based programming. Our aim with this systematic literature review is to compare the policies and practices of social services in both Wisconsin and Oregon in their efforts to reduce recidivism. Systematically examining documents from scholarly databases and state government websites allowed for this comparison to review each state. With this review, we are searching for the gaps in Wisconsin’s programming and practices in comparison to Oregon, so we may understand how to better serve this population and achieve lower rates of recidivism in Wisconsin. In creating such programming to achieve lower rates of recidivism, we must first understand current practices enacted in the processes of rehabilitation. We aim to compare and contrast efforts to reduce recidivism of the incarcerated population in Wisconsin and Oregon. Our methods used to analyze literature were through scholarly databases and state government websites using an Excel Spreadsheet created to organize criteria of corrections programming and policies. We were able to find the vast differences in programming provided by each state, which concluded our findings and directed us to the importance of state-level involvement with private-sector organizations. Such practices built upon evidence-based programming assist those incarcerated and address the root of the continuous cycle of reoffending.

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