Skip Navigation

Too often, politicians and pundits use false narratives about public safety to justify America’s system of mass incarceration, which relies on excessive punishment without actually making our communities safe. The Brennan Center counteracts these myths through authoritative research and data on local and national crime rates.

Icon for End Mass Incarceration End Mass Incarceration

Why It Matters

Crime rates in the United States dropped sharply over the last three decades but rose during the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some leaders and commentators have seized on those increases to spread misleading claims and disproven theories about why certain crimes have increased. Others have used those ideas to argue for the return of misguided policies that drove mass incarceration and decimated our communities without making us safer.

The Brennan Center’s authoritative and reliable analyses set the record straight, explain the reality of crime trends in careful detail, and describe how policymakers can work to reduce crime while building a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. By incorporating the best available information on this fast-evolving subject, we ensure that all Americans, including government officials, have the information they need to understand and confront recent threats to public safety.

Our Experts