Media Inquiries:

The Current System is Broken

The “School to Prison Pipeline” Exists

Incarceration Doesn’t Affect Crime

  • “The impacts of incarceration on crime”, Open Philanthropy Project, September 2017
    • Key finding: “Overall, it looks very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at typical margins in the US today, putting more people behind bars does society net good. More likely it is decarceration that passes the cost-benefit test.”

More Policing Doesn’t Reduce Crime

  • “Rethinking the Blues: How we police in the U.S. and at what cost”, Justice Policy Institute, May 2012
    • Key finding: “More spending on policing means fewer resources available for other public safety strategies that are better for communities. Investments in community based drug and mental health treatment, education, and other social institutions can make communities safer while building their other assets and improving life outcomes for all.”
  • “Freedom to Thrive: Reimagining Safety & Security in Our Communities”, The Center for Popular Democracy, July 2017
    • Summary: “This report examines racial disparities, policing landscapes, and budgets in twelve jurisdictions across the country, comparing the city and county spending priorities with those of community organizations and their members. While many community members, supported by research and established best practices, assert that increased spending on police do not make them safer, cities and counties continue to rely overwhelmingly on policing and incarceration spending while under-resourcing less damaging, more fair, and more effective safety initiatives.”

Pre-trial Detention Increases Recidivism Risks

  • The Hidden Costs of Pre-trial Detention. Arnold Foundation, Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. 2013. 
    • Key finding: “Defendants detained pretrial were 1.3 times more likely to be rearrested within the next 24 months, when compared to similarly- situated defendants who had been released. This relationship was shown to strengthen over time; the longer a defendant was detained pre-trial, the greater the likelihood of later arrest. This effect is particularly significant for low-risk defendants– even 48 hours in jail was shown to increase recidivism of low-risk or first-time offenders by almost 40 percent.”
  • The Effects of Pre-Trial Detention on Conviction, Future Crime, and Employment: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges. American Economic Review. 2018. 
    • Key finding: “Pretrial detention increases the likelihood of re-arrest after case disposition.”

Unemployment Increases Crime

  • Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime, UCSD Economics Discussion Paper. 2000. 
    • Key finding: “We find significant and sizable positive effects of unemployment on the rates of specific violence, as well as property crimes.”

Incarceration Makes Economic Mobility Harder to Achieve

  • Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility, The PEW Charitable Trusts, 2010
    • Key finding: “The price of prisons in state and federal budgets represents just a fraction of the overall cost of incarcerating such a large segment of our society. The collateral consequences are tremendous and far-reaching, and as this report illuminates with fresh data and analysis, they include substantial and lifelong damage to the ability of former inmates, their families and their children to earn a living wage, move up the income ladder and pursue the American Dream.”