Sheriffs Back Effective Adult and Juvenile Sentencing and Corrections Policies

Sheriffs Back Effective Adult and Juvenile Sentencing and Corrections Policies

The National Sheriffs Association (NSA) has adopted two resolutions to support the use of data-driven policies in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. The organization, which represents more than 3,000 sheriffs in all 50 states, endorsed reforms that prioritize costly incarceration for serious offenders while expanding alternatives for lower-level offenders. Both resolutions are aimed at getting a better public safety return on taxpayer dollars.

Regarding criminal justice, the NSA said “it is important for offenders to receive just punishment, but the quantity of time that convicted offenders serve under any form of correctional supervision must be balanced with the quality of evidence-based assessment, treatment, programming, and supervision they receive that can change their criminal behavior and thinking and reduce the likelihood that they will commit future crimes.”

On policies for juvenile offenders, the sheriffs said research “has shown that, in general, neither out-of-home placements nor longer lengths of stay in residential facilities reduce recidivism better than other interventions or sanctions.” They also noted that “approaches that effectively address behaviors of juvenile status and delinquent offenders by increasing options for community-based programs can improve outcomes while reducing the use and cost of court resources and out-of-home facilities.”

Since 2007, more than half the states have enacted sentencing and corrections reforms that are consistent with the NSA resolutions. Several states have maintained this momentum, building on successes in criminal justice with major reforms to their juvenile justice systems

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.