State of Recidivism

The Revolving Door of America's Prisons

More than four in ten offenders nationwide return to state prison within three years of their release despite a massive increase in state spending on prisons, according to State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America's Prisons, a Pew report.

States today spend more than $50 billion a year on corrections, yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high. As the slumping economy forces states to do more with less, policy makers are looking for a better public safety return on their corrections dollars.

While overall figures are discouraging, the report highlights the strategies that three states— MichiganMissouri and Oregon— have employed to reduce returns to prison.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
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Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

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States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.