Projects: Pew Public Safety Performance Project

Vera is a partner in the Public Safety Performance Project, an operating project of The Pew Charitable Trusts that seeks to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in sentencing and corrections. Launched in 2006, the project supports in-depth research and public and policy-maker education to help states increase public safety, manage corrections spending and hold offenders accountable.

Vera’s Role The Pew Public Safety Performance Project collaborates with the Pew Center on the States and a number of national organizations, including the Vera Institute, to provide expert, nonpartisan information and assistance to states that are poised to make changes to their sentencing and/or corrections laws and policies. As part of this initiative, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections helps states diagnose the factors that drive prison growth and identify options for reform, drawing on solid research, promising approaches and best practices in other states. It also helps state officials, practitioners and others share knowledge about what works by convening meetings at the national, regional and state levels. Staff from Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections are working with officials in several states on this project. Here are two examples:

  • In Alabama, CSC staff are working with state and local officials to expand its continuum of community-based supervision options across the state to make room in state prisons for the violent offenders incarcerated under Alabama’s truth-in-sentencing laws.
  • In Illinois, CSC staff are providing technical assistance and research support to an independent, bipartisan commission charged with making sentencing policies and practices fairer and more consistent. Recently, this led to the passage of a new Code of Corrections that greatly clarified the state’s criminal sentencing laws.

For more information about Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, contact Peggy McGarry.

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