Justice Reform Sector Resources
When Misbehaving Is a Crime - This special report offers a primer on status offenses—misbehaviors that are only illegal because of a person’s age and that unfairly land many kids in the justice system.
America’s 3,283 local jails are the “front door” to mass incarceration. But for too long, county jail systems have operated and grown outside of public view. Vera developed the Incarceration Trends data tool so that Americans could have access to information showing just how large their jails have grown, and who is held inside. Our latest analysis of this data reveals an unexpected and—for many—an unintuitive finding: there has been a dramatic shift in the geography of incarceration.
Bipartisan-led sentencing reform since the 2008 recession has begun to turn the tide on mass incarceration, and today there are five percent fewer people incarcerated in state prisons than in 2009. Reform is often driven in part by fiscal pressures and, accordingly, budget savings are often an assumed byproduct of downsizing prisons. But while this sometimes happens, it is by no means always the case, according to a new report and accompanying interactive data tool from the Vera Institute of Justice.
The report reveals that there has been a significant uptick in states’ actions around policing, including clarifying and improving policies around use-of-force and misconduct cases and improving tracking of police operations around the use of body-worn cameras in order to both protect the public and police officers.
This report describes four principles to guide policies and practices that aim to reduce violence: They should be survivor-centered, based on accountability, safety-driven, and racially equitable.
In 2015, government agencies in New Orleans collected $4.5 million in the form of bail, fines and fees from people involved in the criminal justice system and, by extension, from their families.
Now, more than ever, our criminal justice system must keep all communities safe, foster prevention and rehabilitation, and ensure fair and equal justice.
The report provides a national and state-by-state analysis of the country’s investments in police, prisons, jails, prosecutors, and immigration enforcement.
Our new interactive report, “Transforming the System,” examines the American public discourse on criminal justice, outlines a range of policy solutions for transforming our outdated and unjust criminal justice policies, and provides ideas for how to talk about them.
Since 1970, there has been a nearly five-fold increase in the number of people in U.S. jails—the approximately 3,000 county or municipality-run detention facilities that primarily hold people arrested but not yet convicted of a crime.