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
WASHINGTON—Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) signed into law a comprehensive package of criminal justice legislation today to enhance public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. The new law restructures sentences for low-level property and drug offenders and provides effective sanctions and incentives to help keep offenders on probation and parole crime-... Read More
In 2015, West Virginia enacted S.B. 393, a bill to improve juvenile justice policies based on recommendations from a bipartisanstate task force. The law will reduce the placement of low-level youth offenders in state-funded facilities and steer resourcestoward community-based sanctions and services that cost less and are more effective at reducing recidivism. The changes areprojected to cut the... Read More
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