Incarceration Research from Appriss Insights Spotlights Super-Utilizer Population

Examines How Intervention Can Break the Pattern for Those Cycling In-and-Out of Incarceration

Louisville, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jails serve as a key component of public safety; however, they are operating with limited resources, overcrowding, and the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks. Data scientists at Appriss Insights have developed a machine learning model that identifies “super-utilizers” – a percentage of the justice-involved population who habitually reuse criminal justice resources.

Central to Appriss’ research is the statement that “We need to make sure the right people are in jail for the right reasons.” Super-utilizers suffer from higher rates of mental health issues, substance abuse disorders, and residential instability. Their offenses are typically low-level, non-violent misdemeanors that result in “revolving door” stays in jail. By connecting super-utilizers with targeted treatment options, the cycle can be broken. As a result, states can save money, reduce jail overcrowding, improve individual health, and ensure public safety.

“The current criminal justice system does not fully address the complex social needs of the super-utilizers, so they continue to recidivate at high rates,” said David Speights, Chief Data Scientist at Appriss Insights. “When combined with our real-time nationwide incarceration data, our machine learning model gives states the ability to focus treatment diversion efforts on the most at-risk individuals.”

It is estimated that 113 million U.S. adults have had an immediate family member incarcerated, a high percentages of whom are black and Latino adults. The United States tops the list of countries with the largest number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population, followed by El Salvador and Thailand. Jails are the point of entry for many people whose criminal behavior is linked to substance abuse, mental health issues, and homelessness. By diverting non-violent felony drug offenders into treatment rather than prison, billions of dollars can be saved.

Speights concluded, “Super-utilizer indicators need to be assessed by first-responders and court systems, who can help redirect these persons to treatment instead of incarceration. Plus, treatment can be provided as part of re-entry and continuity of care instead of starting the cycle of repeated incarcerations.”

To request more information about incarceration research from Appriss Insights, please visit

About Appriss® Insights
Appriss Insights is the developer of the Appriss Insights Platform, the nation’s most comprehensive source of incarceration, justice, and risk intelligence data. We are a team of technology and data science experts who provide insights and analytic solutions that support informed decisions for early response to people-driven fraud and risk. By delivering real-time notifications, context-sensitive risk assessments, and actionable insights, we enable government agencies and commercial enterprises to save lives, fight crime, prevent fraud, and manage risk. For more information, visit