Public policy and physical fitness have something in common: If you want to see gains, you should measure your performance. Without tracking how fast you can run a mile, you won’t be able to tell whether your exercise program and your gym membership are helping you get more fit.
Measurement is also important for criminal justice policy. Without using a set of standard measures to check the success of different corrections practices, lawmakers have no way to track how policy changes affect public safety or the criminal justice system. This is the situation we face in Michigan.