Adam Gelb directs Pew’s public safety performance project, which helps states advance policies and practices in adult and juvenile sentencing and corrections that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs.
As the project lead, Gelb oversees Pew’s assistance to states seeking a greater public safety return on their corrections spending. He also supervises a vigorous research portfolio that highlights strategies for reducing recidivism while cutting costs. Gelb speaks frequently with the media about national trends and state innovations, and regularly advises policy makers on implementation of practical, cost-effective policies.
Gelb has been involved in crime control and prevention issues for the past 28 years as a journalist, congressional aide, and senior state government official. He began his career as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and staffed the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during negotiations and final passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. From 1995 to 2000, as policy director for the lieutenant governor of Maryland, Gelb was instrumental in developing several nationally recognized anti-crime initiatives. He served as executive director of the Georgia Sentencing Commission from 2001 to 2003. Before joining Pew, he was vice president for programs at the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.
Gelb graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Recent WorkView All
Most national studies of recidivism have focused on state-level inmates, who make up the bulk of the country’s incarcerated population, while overlooking the more than 54,000 offenders who leave federal prison each year. Read More
WASHINGTON—Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law today comprehensive juvenile justice legislation that will increase public safety, improve outcomes for young offenders, protect public safety, and reduce costs for taxpayers. The legislation, Senate Bill 367, is expected to reduce the number of youth sent to out-of-home facilities by more than half and save $72 million over the next... Read More
With far more people behind bars than any other country—including China, Russia, and India— the United States is rightly viewed as the world’s incarceration leader. But for nearly a decade, an important domestic shift has been under way. Read More