Reducing Mass Incarceration

With 2.3 million Americans behind bars, the criminal justice system is larger than ever. Its growing tentacles have caught almost every demographic subset of our country. The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. The system also has massive hidden economic and societal costs that reverberate throughout society, affecting all of us.

The Brennan Center seeks to reduce mass incarceration by creating a rational, effective, and fair justice system that protects public safety and communities. Our experts meld law, policy, and economics to produce high-impact empirical analyses and innovative policy solutions to advance this critical goal.

To read about the program’s latest work, read the latest Justice Update e-newsletter here.

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