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Forecasting and Policy Simulation Models

Forecasting and policy simulation models allow a correctional agency or jurisdiction to understand how the correctional system operates by analyzing and documenting the most recent population trends in a criminal justice system, projecting for up to ten years forward, the growth of prison, parole, probation, and other community supervision populations. This information is critical for executives and legislators to manage the impact of policies and determine the budgetary impact of population growth by inmate classification and security levels and by the types of populations under community supervision.

The JFA Institute uses the Wizard 2000 simulation model, formerly known as Prophet, which can be adapted to the needs of particular jurisdictions to generate population forecasting and policy impact simulations. Simulation models are constructed and customized using data from the particular jurisdiction. The models generate projected admissions, releases, and length of stay on a monthly basis for the period chosen by the jurisdiction. The models can not only answer the “how many” question (i.e. how many offenders are expected to be in prison), but it can also help in determining the “why” questions (i.e. Why is the prison population increasing? Why are the modifications of good time credits projected to have a significant impact in increasing the prison population?).

The JFA Institute has provided active forecasting technology in over 30 of the 50 United States and Puerto Rico and has implemented over 200 local jail and juvenile facility forecasting and classification systems.