How Evidence Helped Improve Criminal Justice Programming in California Counties

In 2011 California passed the Public Safety Realignment Act, which transferred responsibility for more than 60,000 offenders to the state's 58 counties. In response, county officials within the criminal justice system began to re-evaluate where they were putting their resources, with a renewed focus on ensuring that limited county resources were directed to the most effective and cost-efficient programs.

In this video, hear how four counties invested in evidence-based programs to reduce recidivism and increase public safety with the help of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. "The results from the programs have been unbelievable," says Greg Gonzales, a former lieutenant in Kern County, California. "We have inmates who are not concerned about racial lines, gang ties, or gang affiliations, and that has been one of the most rewarding things we've seen."

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative works with states to invest in policies and programs that are proven to work. Learn more about evidence-based policymaking here: