Across the country empowered communities have demanded a new approach to criminal justice by electing prosecutors committed to change. Standing on forward-looking platforms including promises of bail reform, diversion, and ending mass incarceration, a new generation of prosecutors in Chicago, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Orlando, Contra Costa, Denver, St. Louis and elsewhere are part of a small but growing cadre who understand what many Americans have also learned: that “tough on crime” does not equal public safety.

Through the Reshaping Prosecution program, Vera is helping reform-minded prosecutors rethink their role in delivering justice and pursuing public safety. Vera is partnering with prosecutors to put their campaign promises into action as concrete, data-informed policies and practices. The goal of these partnerships is to develop strategies for prosecutors to reduce incarceration and promote racial equity in their work, and increase the public’s confidence in their office.

Project Objectives

  • Help prosecutors implement data-driven policies and practices that reduce incarceration and promote racial equity and equal justice;

  • Increase transparency in prosecutor offices and make them more accountable to the communities they serve; and 

  • Ensure that reforms are sustainable within the prosecutors’ offices by involving staff at all levels in reform generation and implementation.  

Key Fact

94% of felony convictions are the result of a plea deal, a practice in which the prosecutor largely controls the charges offered, the sentence length, the type of sentence, and any conditions of community supervision.