Public Safety Performance Project

Where we work

Over the past few years, more than a dozen states have taken significant steps to rein in the size and cost of their corrections systems. Pew and its partners have worked with many of them, selecting states that have demonstrated a commitment to producing a better public safety return on their corrections spending.

We provide nonpartisan research, analysis, and assistance to officials in each participating state to explore sentencing and corrections reforms that will reduce reoffending and cut costs. The project does not advocate preset solutions, but rather works in partnership with policy leaders to develop data-driven policy options based on analysis of the state’s particular challenges and lessons learned from other states.

Review a summary of policies adopted by states engaged in this "justice reinvestment" process, and visit state links below for more details about each.


Alabama Arizona Arkansas California
Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois
Indiana Kansas Kentucky Michigan
Mississippi Missouri Nebraska Nevada
New Jersey North Carolina Ohio Oregon
Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota
Texas Utah
Vermont Wisconsin
West Virginia

How Six States Enacted Corrections Reform

Six state legislative leaders reflect on how they successfully enacted comprehensive sentencing and corrections reforms using a bipartisan, interbranch working group and focusing on data and research to craft policies that met their unique challenges.

How Six States Enacted Corrections Reforms

Reducing Recidivism

States spend $50 billion a year on corrections, yet more than four out of ten prisoners wind up back behind bars within three years of release. States can break this cycle of recidivism, and save money, by implementing evidence-based programs and policies including risk assessment, fiscal incentives and swift and certain sanctions.

Reducing Recidivism

Media Contact

Christina Zurla

Manager, Communications

202.540.6549