Trends in U.S. Corrections

August 25, 2020
The Sentencing Project's key fact sheet provides a compilation of major developments in the criminal justice system over the past several decades.

Read the Factsheet

Reforming Pretrial Justice In California

Public Policy Institute, Heather Harris, Magnus Lofstrom, August 2020

California’s pretrial system is poised for reform. In 2018, the governor signed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) to eliminate money bail and require the use of risk assessment tools when making pretrial release decisions. The law was put onhold after a challenge by the bail industry. Voters will decide its fate in a hotlydebated November 2020 referendum on Proposition 25. Proponents argue SB 10 would reduce jail populations while promoting public safety and court appearances, but critics express concern about the bill’s potential impact on crime and racial inequities.

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Visualizing the racial disparities in mass incarceration

Prison Policy Initiative, by Wendy Sawyer, July 27, 2020
Racial inequality is evident in every stage of the criminal justice system - here are the key statistics compiled into a series of charts.

See these staggering charts!

Racial Discrimination Persists in California Jury Selection

Equal Justice Initiative, June 29, 2020
A new study from the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic found that California prosecutors routinely strike Black and Latino prospective jurors—and the state’s appellate courts have failed to meaningfully address racial discrimination in jury selection.

It has been illegal for more than a century to remove a person from a jury because of their race, but people of color continue to be excluded from jury service because of their race, especially in serious criminal trials and death penalty cases.

Read More

Failing Grades: States’ Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons

Prison Policy Initiative and the ACLU, June 25, 2020
By Emily Widra and Dylan Hayre

The results are clear: despite all of the information, voices calling for action, and the obvious need, state responses ranged from disorganized or ineffective, at best, to callously nonexistent at worst. Even using data from criminal justice system agencies — that is, even using states’ own versions of this story — it is clear that no state has done enough and that all states failed to implement a cohesive, system-wide response.

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Care First, Jails Last

Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities


Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group Final Report


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Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2016

New BJS report reveals staggering number of preventable deaths in local jails
Prison Policy Initiative, by Alexi Jones, February 13, 2020
In 2016, over 1,000 people died in local jails - many the tragic result of healthcare and jail systems that fail to address serious health problems among the jail population, and of the trauma of incarceration itself.
LA County is able to safely divert thousands of individuals with mental illness into treatment

Rand Corporation

January 7, 2020 by Stephanie Brooks Holliday

More than 3,300 people in the mental health population of the Los Angeles County Jail are appropriate candidates for diversion into programs where they would receive community-based clinical services rather than incarceration, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Pretrial Risk Assessment in California
Public Policy Institute of California, Heather Harris, Justin Goss, Alexandria Gumbs, December 2019
The policies governing California’s pretrial system are undergoing substantial change. Amid recent correctional reforms and ongoing challenges to the state’s bail system, pretrial risk assessment has emerged as a way to help counties make decisions about whether arrested individuals should remain in the community or be detained until any charges stemming from that arrest are resolved.
This report presents an overview of pretrial risk assessment in California and offers considerations for using, evaluating, and improving the effectiveness of local pretrial risk assessment systems.
One Year After the First Step Act: Mixed Outcomes
The Sentencing Project by Kara Gotsch, December 17, 2019
In commemoration of the sentencing reform law’s passage one year ago this week, The Sentencing Project has published an analysis of the law’s successes, challenges and the reform left undone.
Costs Of Injustice: How Criminal System Fees Are Hurting Los Angeles County Families
ACLU Southern California
November 19, 2019
Los Angeles County has a responsibility to ensure that all its community members, whether rich or poor, receive equal justice and a fair chance to succeed. However, by using the criminal system to extract fees and fines from low-income communities of color, the county is doing the opposite.
50-State Chart on Relief from Sex Offender Registration: Updated
Collateral Consequences Resource Center, November 21, 2019
Work, Pay, Or Go To Jail:
Court-Ordered Community Service In Los Angeles
The UCLA Labor Center, 2019
by Lucero Herrera, Tia Koonse, Melanie Sonsteng-Person, Noah Zatz

Work, Pay, or Go to Jail: Court-Ordered Community Service in Los Angeles is the first study to analyze a large-scale system of court-ordered community service in the contemporary United States. It finds that court-ordered community service functions as a system of unregulated and coercive labor, which worsens the effects of criminal justice debt and displaces paid jobs.
Arrest, Release, Repeat:
How police and jails are misused to respond to social problems
Prison Policy Initiative
By Alexi Jones and Wendy Sawyer, August 2019 
Police and jails are supposed to promote public safety. Increasingly, however, law enforcement is called upon to respond punitively to medical and economic problems unrelated to public safety issues. As a result, local jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need.
Conversations about this problem are becoming more frequent, but until now, these conversations have been missing three fundamental data points: how many people go to jail each year, how many return, and which underlying problems fuel this cycle...
In L.A., Nine in Ten Incarcerated Youth Have a Documented Mental Health Issue

The Chronicle of Social Change, June 12, Jeremy Loudenback

After a new report found that more than 90 percent of youth in the county’s juvenile halls had an open mental health case, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors pledged to improve mental health care to justice-involved youth in county.

Ending Mass Incarceration: Ideas from Today's Leaders

The Brennan Center for Justice, May 16, 2019
In this remarkable collaboration, the country’s most prominent lawmakers and activists join together to propose ideas for transformative change.

Cannabis Social Equity Report

Repairing the Harms, Creating the Future

published by UFCW 770, Equity First Alliance Los Angeles and the Social Impact Center in Los Angeles
The new Repairing the Harms, Creating the Future: Creating Cannabis Social & Health Equity in Los Angeles (2019) report compiles extensive research that shows the City of Los Angeles’ promising programs meant to repair the war on drugs need a more comprehensive approach – and immediate funding – to succeed.
New Fact Sheet: Urban Crime Declines During California's Justice Reform Era (2010-2018)
Mike Males
SAN FRANCISCO – April 3, 2019 – A new fact sheet from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice finds that, during a period of large-scale criminal justice reform including Proposition 47 and Public Safety Realignment, California’s urban crime rates have declined.
Johns Hopkins Report Offers First Ever Look At Pregnancy In Prison Stats
Witness LA, March 23, 2019 by Taylor Walker
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
January 2019
Several Poor Administrative Practices Have Hindered Reductions in Recidivism and Denied Inmates Access to In‑Prison Rehabilitation Programs

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Failure should not be an option: Grading the parole release systems of all 50 states

Prison Policy Initiative,
Jorge Renaud, Feb, 26, 2019
From arrest to sentencing, the process of sending someone to prison in America is full of rules and standards meant to guarantee fairness and predictability. An incredible amount of attention is given to the process, and rightly so. But in sharp contrast, the processes for releasing people from prison are relatively ignored by the public and by the law. State paroling systems vary so much that it is almost impossible to compare them.
Women in Los Angeles County
A report by Million Dollar Hoods
In LA County we spent at least $750,000,000 incarcerating women from 2010-2016.
Juvenile Arrest Rates on Steady Decline

This US Department of Justice bulletin describes the latest trends in arrests involving juveniles (youth younger than age 18) covering the period from 1980 to 2016, based on analyses of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Overall, juvenile arrests have been on the decline for more than a decade, but patterns vary by offense and demographic group.

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 November 21, 2018
Semi-annually with an overview of the financial status of the Department.
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"[DRAFT] Report of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Immigration Ad Hoc Committee
Regarding the LASD Cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and [PROPOSED]: Recommendations"
Read More

Prison Policy Initiative Report
By Lucius Couloute
October 2018

Getting Back on Course: Educational exclusion and attainment amount formerly incarcerated people

Using data from the National Former Prisoner Survey, this report reveals that formerly incarcerated people are often relegated to the lowest rungs of the educational ladder; more than half hold only a high school diploma or GED, and a quarter hold no credential at all.

Read the Report

REPORT: Probation and Parole Systems Marked by High Stakes, Missed Opportunities

As part of a collaborative effort to improve the nation's community corrections system, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation analyzed the leading research and identified the most pressing problems and some promising solutions. The available data leave many questions unanswered, but this review reveals key insights and challenges many assumptions about supervision

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REPORT - Getting to Zero: A 50 State Study of Strategies to Remove Youth from Adult Jails

The report by The Jail Removal Project at UCLA School of Law, aims to reassess the way youth are incarcerated in America by providing the first-ever analysis of three nationwide data sets: Census of Jails and Annual Survey of Jails, both conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Census of Juvenile Residential Placements.

The report also summarizes the major legal developments applicable to youth housed in adult jails and provides specific examples from jurisdictions across the country that have made substantial progress toward removing youth from adult jails.

Read the Report

You Get What You Measure: New Performance Indicators Needed to Gauge Progress of Criminal Justice Reform

May 2018
Adam Gelb


Prop 47 not responsible for recent upticks in crime across California

The implementation of Proposition 47 - which reduced the prison population by charging certain drug and property offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies - is not responsible for the recent upticks in crime throughout California, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Irvine. This is the first systematic analysis to be conducted of the measure's statewide impact since its 2014 implementation.

Fact Sheet

Despite the ongoing decline in incarceration, spending on state corrections remains high.

Under the Governor's proposed budget, combined funding for the CDCR and the Board of State and Community Corrections would be $12.1 billion in 2018-19 (the fiscal year that begins this coming July 1) - $2 billion higher than the 2012-13 level, after adjusting for inflation.

Fact Sheet

As States Gear Up For Vote By Mail, New Report on First-Time & Limited-English Speaking Voters Makes Key Recommendations for California

August 4, 2020
Report from California Common Cause and Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside features voices and concerns of low-propensity voters

Read the Report

View the Presentation Slides

Proposition 47’s Impact on Racial Disparity in Criminal Justice Outcomes

Public Policy Institute of California, June 2020
Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin, Steven Raphael

...In recent years, California has implemented a number of significant reforms that were not motivated by racial disparities but might have narrowed them in a number of ways. In this report, we extend our previous arrest work to examine the impact of Proposition 47, which reclassified a number of drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, on racial disparities in arrest and jail booking rates and in the likelihood of an arrest resulting in a booking.

While significant inequities persist in California and elsewhere, our findings point to a reduction in pretrial detention and a narrowing of racial disparities in key statewide criminal justice outcomes

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REPORT - Voting in Jails

The Sentencing Project, MAY 07, 2020
Nicole D. Porter
As localities consider voting best practices, a new report from The Sentencing Project highlights jurisdictions around the country that actively support ballot access for residents detained in local jails through absentee voting or jail-based polling sites. These initiatives should serve as models to be adopted by all jail systems in order to ensure that individuals housed there do not forfeit their rights of citizenship.

Read the Report

Liberating Our Health:
Ending the Harms of Pretrial Incarceration and Money Bail
Human Impact Partners, February 2020
Almost half a million people who are locked in jails across the United States today have not been found guilty of the charges against them. Through the system of pretrial incarceration, people are separated from their loved ones, unable to go to work, forced to
face economic insecurity, and placed at risk of the health harms of incarceration — all without a conviction.

Jail Visitation Innovation

Visitation and Family Support Services at Century Regional Detention Facility Promote Public Safety
Prepared by: Ricca Prasad, MPH, JD Candidate Director, Women’s Gender-Responsive Jail Project, Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law
February 11, 2020
This report is intended to serve as a primer about why visitation for women in jail is important to public safety, what visitation and family support is provided at Los Angeles County’s women’s jail (Century Regional Detention Facility, “CRDF”), and how the newly appointed Gender Responsive Advisory Committee (“GRAC”) can help support
meaningful contact and visitation between people at CRDF and their loved ones.
Youth Confinement: The Whole Pie 2019
Prison Policy Initiative, By Wendy Sawyer, December 19, 2019  
On any given day, over 48,000 youth in the United States are confined in facilities away from home as a result of juvenile justice or criminal justice involvement. Most are held in restrictive, correctional-style facilities, and thousands are held without even having had a trial. But even these high figures represent astonishing progress: Since 2000, the number of youth in confinement has fallen by 60%, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.
What explains these remarkable changes? How are the juvenile justice and adult criminal justice systems different, and how are they similar? Perhaps most importantly, can those working to reduce the number of adults behind bars learn any lessons from the progress made in reducing youth confinement?
An Overview of Evidence-Based Practices and Programs in Prison Reentry
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Dec., 2019
The Steep Costs of Criminal Justice Fees and Fines
Brennan Center for Justice,

November 21, 2019, Matthew Menendez, Michael Crowley, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Noah Atchison

SUMMARY: Court fees and fines unjustly burden people with debt just as they are re-entering society. They are also ineffective at raising revenue.
Review of the Inmate Reception Center Intake Evaluation Process
November 2019
Read the report
Women’s Mass Incarceration:
The Whole Pie 2019
By Aleks Kajstura
Prison Policy Initiative, Oct. 29, 2019
This report provides a detailed view of the 231,000 women and girls incarcerated in the United States, and how they fit into the even broader picture of correctional control.
Private Prisons in the United States
The Sentencing Project
Twenty-eight states and the federal government incarcerated 121,718 people in private prisons in 2017, representing 8.2% of the total state and federal prison population. Since 2000, the number of people housed in private facilities has increased 39%, according to data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and The Sentencing Project and presented in our new fact sheet.
The 1994 Crime Bill, Legacy and Lessons
Part One: Impacts on Prison Populations
Council on Criminal Justice, September 2019 by William J. Sabol and Thaddeus L. Johnson

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What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2006–2016
by Gregory Midgette, Steven Davenport, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Beau Kilmer
Research Questions
  • How many people are using cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the United States?
  • How much are they using?
  • How much money are they spending?
  • How have these quantities changed over time?
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences for People With Criminal Records
The report finds that many collateral consequences are unrelated either to the underlying crime or to a public safety purpose. In these circumstances, the imposition of collateral consequences “negatively affects public safety and the public good.”
Ex-Offender Action Network/Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches presents:
Co-Design of Services for Health and Reentry (CO-SHARE)
An Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD) Pilot Study with Individuals Returning to Community from Jail and Service Providers in Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES COUNTY Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group
Interim Report—June 2019

Bookings into the L.A. County Jail


A Million Dollar Hoods White Paper
By Danielle Dupuy, PhD, Eric Lee, MPH, Mariah Tso, MS, Isaac Bryan, MPP, and Kelly Lytle Hernández, PhD
Los Angeles County operates the largest jail system in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth.1 Using booking data collected by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, this report provides an overview of jail admissions into the Los Angeles County Jail between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2016.
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences for People With Criminal Records
New report underscores link between ‘shocking’ number of evictions, homelessness
“It would be naive to ignore the connection between evictions and homelessness”
By Jenna Chandler@jennakchandler

Using Marijuana Revenue to Create Jobs

The Center for American Progress, May 20, 2019
By Maritza Perez, Olugbenga Ajilore, and Ed Chung

Rand Report

Evaluation of North Carolina's Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Program
by Lois M. Davis, Michelle C. Tolbert

Read the Report

Discretionary Detention by the Numbers

By ACLU Analytics and Immigrants' Rights Project
Since 2016, 9,188 people have been locked up in our immigration system for over 30 days despite having been granted bond, most often because they could not afford to pay it. Like Cesar, most of them are immigrants seeking asylum. They are not convicted of crimes or subject to immediate deportation – in these cases, ICE had a choice, and it chose to imprison them.
New Fact Sheet: Urban Crime Declines During California's Justice Reform Era (2010-2018)
Mike Males
SAN FRANCISCO – April 3, 2019 – A new fact sheet from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice finds that, during a period of large-scale criminal justice reform including Proposition 47 and Public Safety Realignment, California’s urban crime rates have declined.

Where ‘Returning Citizens’ Find Housing After Prison

By: Teresa Wiltz
For those who’ve been locked up in prison for years, finding a home on the outside can be rough. Parole restrictions may limit where former inmates can live. Public housing and housing vouchers may be off-limits, and many landlords are reluctant to rent to former offenders.
The result, criminal justice experts say, is a housing crisis among the formerly incarcerated, particularly among those recently released from prison.
Starr and Prescott publish groundbreaking empirical study of expungement
March 19, 2019, CCRC Staff
Professors Sonja B. Starr and J.J. Prescott of Michigan Law School have released the first-ever broad-based empirical study of the effects of a state law limiting public access to criminal records.
Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019
Prison Policy Initiative, March 19, 2019
By Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner 
Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented...This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement.
Attorney General Becerra Releases 2017 California Criminal Justice Data Reports
The reports released are:
  • Crime in California
  • Hate Crime in California
  • Homicide in California
  • Juvenile Justice in California
  • URSUS: Use of Force Incident Reporting

Read the Reports

A Groundbreaking Report Goes Deep On Black Homelessness In Los Angeles

LAist, MATT TINOCO, Feb. 26, 2019
Homelessness disproportionately affects black people in Los Angeles. Though about nine percent of Los Angeles County's total population is black-identifying, black people make up about 36 percent of the county's homeless population, according to the 2018 homeless count.

New Report: Pervasive Violence and Isolation at California's Division of Juvenile Justice Endanger Youth

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Maureen Washburn & Renee Menart
Feb. 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – February 19, 2019 – A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice provides a comprehensive review of conditions at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)—California’s state-run youth correctional system— and finds a return to its historically grievous conditions that isolate and traumatize youth.

Top Trends in Criminal Justice Reform

The Sentencing Project
Unlocking the Black Box of Prosecution

Vera Institute of Justice
In order to help unlock this black box, the Vera Institute of Justice created this guide: a tool for interested community members and prosecutors to better understand what prosecutors can do to advance equal justice. Read More

"[DRAFT] The LA County Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety finalized its report given to the Board of Supervisors Nov. 15

Regarding the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s DepartmentCooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and [PROPOSED] Recommendations

Read the Draft 
Reimagining Prison
Web Report by the Vera Institute

The harsh conditions within prison have been demonstrated neither to ensure safety behind the walls nor to prevent crime and victimization in the community.

"This document—unlike anything we have ever produced at the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera)—is about the possibility of radical change. It asserts a dramatic reconsideration of the most severe criminal sanction we have: incarceration. It articulates a view that is sure to be alien to many. Yet we need not accept as a given the way we do things now, and we encourage you to envision a different path."

Read the Report

REPORT - Decarceration Stratgies: How 5 states achieved substantial prison population reductions

This report by The Sentencing Project, seeks to inform stakeholders in other states of the range of policy options available to them forsignificantly reducing their prison population. While weprovide some assessment of the political environment which contributed to these changes, we do not go into great detail in this area since stakeholders will need to make their own determinations of strategy based on the particularities of their state.

Read the Report


Isaac Bryan, Terry Allen MA, Kelly Lytle Hernández PhD, and the Million Dollar Hoods Team

Read the Report

Special Report: 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism:
A 9-Year Follow-Up Period (2005-2014)

Mariel Alper, Ph.D., and Matthew R. Durose, BJS Statisticians Joshua Markman, former BJS Statistician

Root & Rebound Re-Launches First Online Training Hub for People in Reentry!

Online Training...


is a new report from the Trone Center for Justice & Equality. The report details the ways companies can combat the ills of decades of mass incarceration, while at the same tapping into the potential energy of a workforce of millions.

Download the Report

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

January 10, 2017 By the Drug Policy Alliance and Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

For decades, the criminal justice system has incentivized arrests, convictions, incarceration, and other criminal consequences for drug use. However, the American public increasingly believes problematic substance use is a public health problem, not a criminal one. In California, drug policy reforms implemented over recent years reflect these changing perceptions.


Peter Espinoza, Director of Office Diversion & Re-Entry gave an overview of the various current and upcoming projects by Office of Diversion and Reentry at the last LARRP General meeting. Click below to download a powerpoint of his presentation.

Download the Update


Shadow Prisons

The Southern Poverty Law Center

November 21, 2016 by Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigrant Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Adelante Alabama Worker Center

This report is the result of a seven-month investigation of six detention centers in the South, a region where tens of thousands of people are locked up for months, sometimes even years, as they await hearings or deportation.