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.
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From 1980 to 2013, the number of offenders incarcerated in federal prisons increased from approximately 24,000 to more than 215,000, making the federal system the largest in the nation. Policy choices contributed significantly to this expansion as lawmakers added criminal laws to the books, lengthened sentences, and abolished parole. Read More
West Virginia voters strongly support improving the state’s juvenile justice system by reducing the use of state-funded facilities and reinvesting in community supervision and programming, according to a statewide poll. Read More