Bipartisan Support for Justice Reinvestment Legislation

Wide majorities in most states approved sentencing and corrections reforms

Bipartisan Support for Justice Reinvestment Legislation

Since 2007, more than half of the states have participated in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and made research-based policy changes to control prison growth, hold offenders accountable, and protect public safety. Although they vary in scope and significance, these reforms have sought to prioritize prison space for serious and violent offenders while expanding alternatives to incarceration for those who can be supervised more effectively and at less expense in the community. These efforts in 30 states have drawn extraordinary bipartisan support: Justice reinvestment reforms have received more than 6,100 “aye” votes in state legislatures, compared with just over 500 “no” votes.

This page was updated on Nov. 18, 2016, to add 2016 data.

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States of Innovation


Sentencing and Corrections Reform Enjoys Broad Bipartisan Support

Legislators and voters back policies that lower costs, reduce recidivism, and protect public safety

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Last week, millions of Americans headed to the polls to cast their votes for president and other federal, state, and local offices. Despite the increased partisanship that was evident across the nation, however, sentencing and corrections reform is widely popular across party lines, according to an updated analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts.