Adam Gelb

Adam Gelb

  • Director
  • Public Safety Performance Project,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


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 Work

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  • Examining Electronic Monitoring Technologies

    Each year, millions of pretrial defendants and convicted offenders are supervised in their communities as they await trial or serve periods of probation or parole. Local and state agencies are increasingly using electronic monitoring (EM) technologies to supplement supervision, tracking where offenders go and whether they are using alcohol or drugs. Read More

  • Prison Time Surges for Federal Inmates

    The average length of time served by federal inmates more than doubled from 1988 to 2012, rising from 17.9 to 37.5 months.  Across all six major categories of federal crime—violent, property, drug, public order, weapon, and immigration offenses—imprisonment periods increased significantly.  (See Figure 1.)  For drug offenders, who make up roughly half of the federal... Read More

  • Prosecutor Perspectives on Juvenile Justice

    Prosecutors serve on the front lines of the justice system, holding offenders accountable for their actions. Cases involving juvenile offenders present prosecutors with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. In recent years, a number of states have made policy changes to improve outcomes for youth offenders, and prosecutors have been important players in the deliberations. The Pew... Read More

Media Contact

Darienne Gutierrez

Senior Associate, Communications