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Criminal Justice (Adult)

With nearly 2.4 million people incarcerated, the United States is home to the world’s highest incarceration rate. In total, 7 million people are under some form of correctional supervision, and a disproportionate number of these are people of color. With many policies driven by a desire to punish rather than knowledge of what improves community safety, and politics and profit playing an increasing role, the criminal justice system costs too much, doesn’t work, and isn’t fair. Here you can find information on policies, practices and alternatives to the justice system-based solutions to social problems.

Issue in Focus: Bail Reform

JPI Report Highlights





State Efforts








JPI Reports:

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Bailing on Baltimore: Voices from the Front Lines of the Justice System
Third report in the series on bail that connects the first two quantitative reports on money bail and the for-profit bail industry to the actual experiences of people who have been involved in the…
For Better or For Profit: How the Bail Bonding Industry Stands in the Way of Fair and Effective Pretrial Justice
Second in series on bail recommends the U.S. should end for-profit bail bonding; promote and further institutionalize pretrial services; and require greater transparency within the industry.
Bail Fail: Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Using Money for Bail
JPI's newest analysis shows that the practice of using money to decide release while awaiting trial unfairly impacts low-income communities.
United States Continuing to Overspend on Police, Despite Decreasing Crime Rates
Although crime rates are at the lowest they have been in over 30 years, the number of arrests has declined only slightly between 2009 and 20102 and the U.S. still spends more than $100 billion on…
Wrong Track for Savings: How Florida’s prison population became a runaway train, and why better policies, not private prisons, can put the brakes on correctional costs
How Florida’s prison population became a runaway train, and why better policies, not private prisons, can put the brakes on correctional costs
When Treatment is Punishment: The Effects of Maryland's Incompetency to Stand Trial Policies and Practices
In FY2010, the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration provided 789 pretrial screenings and evaluations for incompetency to stand trial, 77 percent of which were for the District Courts...
Crime, Incarceration Down in 2010
According to FBI Uniform Crime report data released today, violent and property crimes are down across the country while states are reducing prison populations.
Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies
Report examining how private prison companies wield influence over legislators and policy, ultimately resulting in harsher criminal justice policies and the incarceration of more people.
Due South: Looking to the South for Criminal Justice Innovations
Recognizing the significant costs associated with high incarceration rates, a number of Southern states have implemented innovative strategies for reducing prison and jail populations.
FBI: Crime Fell in 2010
According to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report, violent and property crime is down nationally. This comes at a time when state prison populations feel and states spent less money on corrections.
Creating the Roadmap for Reduction: Reducing the Number of Women in Prison in Alabama
This brief is a summary of the process that JPI used to develop recommendations and support their implementation, as well as a summary of how the recommendations worked to reduce the number of women…
Finding Direction: Expanding Criminal Justice Options by Considering Policies of Other Nations
Amidst a fiscal crisis and dropping crime rates, policymakers in the U.S. ought to consider looking outside its borders for examples of effective criminal justice policies.
Documentary: Blocking the Exit
A documentary to better understand the profound impact that requiring Governor approval of parole for lifers has had in Maryland.
Moving Toward a Public Safety Paradigm: A Roundtable Discussion on Victims and Criminal Justice Reform
This brief details a roundtable convened by JPI examining the role of victims in justice reform.
Fact Sheet on 2009 FBI Uniform Crime Report
Crime is down in all regions of the country, according to the full 2009 Uniform Crime Report released by the FBI on September 13, 2010. The Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a Washington, D.C. based…
Shifting the Problem: Fact Sheet on Proposed California Community Corrections Enhancement Act
California’s Prison Reduction Plan Will Overburden Counties; Misses the Mark. Shifting prison population to jails will increase costs and incarceration rates.
Baltimore Behind Bars: How to Reduce the Jail Population, Save Money and Improve Public Safety
The Baltimore jail system is one of the oldest and largest pretrial facilities in the country, holding around 4,000 people on any given day...
For Immediate Release: How to Safely Reduce Prison Populations and Support People Returning to Their Communities
Reducing prison populations and maintaining public safety can both be accomplished while allowing state taxpayers to save money with more effective programs, group says.
Factsheet on 2009 FBI Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report
Drop in crime comes as states seek ways to reduce prison populations and improve savings for state budgets.
Fact Sheet: DOJ Report on Prisoners in 2008
The Department of Justice released its annual survey of prisons this week, reporting that more than 1.6 million people are currently incarcerated in a federal or state prison. The report shows that…
Fact Sheet: Response to 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report (Full)
The full 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report was released Monday, September 14, 2009 with the positive news that the United States experienced a 1.9 percent decline in violent crimes and a 0.8 percent…
Bearing Witness: Baltimore City’s Residents Give Voice
Bearing Witness is the culmination of interviews with people from Baltimore City about their experiences with the criminal justice system. Compared to the rest of Maryland, Baltimore City faces a…
The Release Valve: Parole in Maryland
In the current difficult economic situation, states are searching for ways to reduce spending while maintaining safe communities. With a $68 billion prison system holding over 2.3 million people in…
Fact Sheet: Response to 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report
The FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report was released Monday, January 12th with the news that the United States experienced a 3.5 percent decline in the number of reported violent offenses…
Moving Target: A Decade of Resistance to the Prison Industrial Complex
For the past 10 years, Critical Resistance has helped advocates imagine the possibility of a world without bars. If our country is to truly reclaim its communities, the criminal justice system must…

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