America's prison population skyrocketed over the past few decades, largely as a result of state laws and policies that placed more offenders behind bars and kept them there longer. But proven strategies are available that offer a better public safety return on taxpayer dollars. Pew works with states to advance data-driven, fiscally sound policies and practices in the criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs.
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Two years after adopting broad adult criminal justice reforms, South Dakota in 2015 passed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to overhaul its juvenile justice system. The law, S.B. 73, prioritizes space in residential facilities for youth who are considered a public safety threat and significantly expands local programs that reduce recidivism and more effectively hold young offenders... Read More
The proportion of American adults under correctional control—incarcerated or on probation or parole—declined 13 percent from 2007, when it reached its peak, to 2014, according to a Pew analysis of data released last month by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Read More
Since 2007, 31 states have reformed their sentencing and corrections policies through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a public-private partnership that includes the U.S. Justice Department Bureau of Justice Assistance, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice, the Vera Institute of Justice,... Read More