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Prison Policy Initiative’s new report Following the Money of Mass Incarceration looks at the big picture and concludes that the government and families of justice-involved people spend $182 billion each year on mass incarceration and over-criminalization. But for this report, PPI also calculates an important cost hidden within this figure: the cost of locking people up before trial.

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An abiding challenge of justice reform in the United States is the decentralization of criminal justice operations. Reforming how we deliver public safety entails making changes in how thousands of independently operated justice agencies do business. This is certainly true of changing how jails are used, which must be tackled county by county, and city […]

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In Seattle, a collaborative team of stakeholder is piloting a new program to respond differently to the more than 2,000 people who are entering jail several times a year.

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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has embarked on a new program of investment in local criminal justice reform at a crucial time in American history. The primary institutions of local justice—police, courts, and jails—have recently come under unprecedented scrutiny, as the nation’s attention has been riveted by a series of tragedies in […]

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More and more, local jails are recognized as incarceration’s front door—the entry point for people who move through the criminal justice system. Intended primarily to house people awaiting trial or other case resolution who pose a danger to the community or risk of flight, jails have become warehouses for those too poor to afford bail or […]

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The increasing evidence regarding the ineffectiveness of—and harm accrued by—current pretrial practices has prompted support for reform by many national organizations, including those representing the state courts. In 2012, the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) adopted a white paper advocating “that court leaders promote, collaborate toward, and accomplish the adoption of evidence-based assessment of […]

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