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 25 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
Policymakers at all levels of government are attempting to address a nationwide increase in heroin abuse. Use of the drug has tripled over the past decade, paralleling widespread misuse of prescription opioids, and overdose deaths have increased nearly threefold in the past seven years. Read More
SAFE Justice Act Would Apply Lessons From State Reforms to Federal Sentencing and Corrections System
A bill introduced today by U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) would establish research-based, state-tested policies to comprehensively improve the federal sentencing and corrections system. Read More
On March 31, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed into law sentencing and corrections legislation that employs research-driven policies to deliver a greater public safety return. The state's Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, an interbranch group of state and local officials, developed the legislation—H.B. 348—with technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of the... Read More