Vera’s Role 

The Pew Public Safety Performance Project collaborated with the Pew Center on the States and a number of national organizations, including the Vera Institute, to provide expert, nonpartisan information and assistance to states that were poised to make changes to their sentencing and/or corrections laws and policies. As part of this initiative, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections helped states diagnose the factors that drive prison growth and identify options for reform, drawing on solid research, promising approaches and best practices in other states. It also helped state officials, practitioners and others share knowledge about what works by convening meetings at the national, regional and state levels. Staff from Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections worked with officials in several states on this project. Here are two examples:

  • In Alabama, CSC staff worked with state and local officials to expand its continuum of community-based supervision options across the state to make room in state prisons for the violent offenders incarcerated under Alabama’s truth-in-sentencing laws.
  • In Illinois, CSC staff provided technical assistance and research support to an independent, bipartisan commission charged with making sentencing policies and practices fairer and more consistent. This led to the passage of a new Code of Corrections that greatly clarified the state’s criminal sentencing laws.

For more information about Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, contact Fred Patrick.