07/15/2014
Ram Subramanian • Rebecka Moreno • Sharyn Broomhead

In 2013, 35 states passed at least 85 bills to change some aspect of how their criminal justice systems address sentencing and corrections. In reviewing this legislative activity, the Vera Institute of Justice found that policy changes have focused mainly on the following five areas: reducing prison populations and costs; expanding or strengthening community-based corrections; implementing risk and needs assessments; supporting offender reentry into the community; and making better informed criminal justice policy through data-driven research and analysis. By providing concise summaries of representative legislation in each area, this report aims to be a practical guide for policymakers in other states and the federal government looking to enact similar changes in criminal justice policy.

Read an editorial on "The Steep Costs of America's High Incarceration Rate," by Vera President Nick Turner and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.