Crime and correctional control—any court-ordered supervision of an individual, whether in the community, as with probation or parole, or in a facility, such as a jail or prison—create substantial burdens for governments, residents, and taxpayers. But decades of research have revealed a range of strategies that are more effective for achieving public safety.
Since 2005, The Pew Charitable Trusts and its partners have conducted research, provided technical assistance to governments, and made strategic grants to advance fiscally sound, data-driven criminal and juvenile justice policies and practices that protect public safety, ensure accountability, and reduce correctional populations and costs.
Building on this record, Pew is working with state and local officials to reform jail, community supervision, and juvenile justice systems by helping jurisdictions:
- Safely reduce admissions to and the length of time people spend in jail, expand strategies to ensure that defendants appear in court, reduce the likelihood of re-arrest while awaiting trial, support crime victims, and better align public safety practices and investments with research and constitutional principles.
- Decrease the size of probation and parole populations so that community supervision agencies can focus their limited resources on the individuals with the greatest needs, implement best practices to increase successful outcomes, and reduce returns to jail and prison for new offenses and technical violations (i.e., noncompliance with one or more supervision rules).
- Reduce the number of young people who enter the juvenile court system and end up in state-funded residential facilities and improve the quality of services and supervision available in their home communities.