Americans' quest for "a more perfect union" starts with safe, healthy communities. Developing policies that are firmly grounded in facts and research is critical to building a vibrant civic life.  Strong communities also require an understanding of our country’s history and immigration trends, participation in arts and culture, and concern for those who need a helping hand. These endeavors—all part of Pew’s mission—shape our national character, bring us together as a people, and help assure that our communities thrive.

Recent Work

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  • South Dakota's 2015 Juvenile Justice Reform

    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

  • Neighborhood Poverty and Household Financial Security

    In a previous study, The Pew Charitable Trusts examined the effects of neighborhood context on American families’ economic mobility. That analysis found that neighborhood poverty is associated with downward mobility, reinforcing other research that has shown a link between high-poverty neighborhoods and unemployment, poorer performing schools, and increased violence, all of which pose risks... Read More

  • States Modify Sentencing Laws Through Justice Reinvestment

    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