As this toolkit illustrates, many individuals, organizations, and government agencies are advocating for jail decarceration in cities and counties across the United States. Although the details of every local community are unique, many of the tools, obstacles, and possible solutions are more similar than you might think. No matter your specific role in the community, you have the power to push for change that will make a powerful difference—even small efforts will create momentum, and that momentum will push toward transformative change that will leave your community safer, healthier, and more equitable for all.

This work is supported by Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States.


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Campbell, Christopher M., Ryan M. Labrecque, Michael Weinerman, and Ken Sanchagrin. “Gauging Detention Dosage: Assessing the Impact of Pretrial Detention on Sentencing Outcomes Using Propensity Score Modeling.” Journal of Criminal Justice 70 (September 1, 2020): 101719.

Cohen, Sheila. “Bail Bond Industry Fights Back Against Moves To Limit Or End Cash Bail.” Wisconsin Public Radio, January 15, 2019.

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———. “People in Jail and Prison in Spring 2021.” New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2021.

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