Prison Reform

IMPACT: Prison Reform

Issue Brief

From 1991, US incarceration rates have risen from 480 per 100,000 residents to a 690 per 100,000 residents around 2014. This compares unfavorably with the typical global rate of 130, and at least double the incarceration rate of 90% of all other countries in the world. With one year of their release, 43.4% of offenders are rearrested. Within three years, that rate is up to 67.8%. High incarceration rates and high recidivism have left our prison system in a constant state of overcrowding. Federal jurisdiction currently houses a prison population that is 128% of capacity. This brief will help you understand the causes behind these shocking statistics.

Few things stir emotions as violently as a discussion about prison reform. Knowing that, and knowing how important a fair and balanced view of the facts and history are to decision making, we have approached the issues around criminal justice, prisons and prison reform from several angles.

Greybeards behind bars

Between 1993 and 2013 America’s crime rate fell from around 52 crimes per 1,000 people to 23. At the same time, largely because of America’s penchant for handing out long sentences, the number of people over 55 in state prisons rose from 26,300 to 131,500, and their share of the total more than tripled. According to the Osborne Association…

Electronic Monitoring Instead of Prison

Many countries have recently adopted electronic monitoring (EM) as an alternative sentence in order to reduce incarceration while maintaining public safety. However, the empirical evidence on the effects of EM on recidivism  is very scarce but allows home within range…

America’s geriatric prison population is growing

Between 1993 and 2013 America’s crime rate fell from around 52 crimes per 1,000 people to 23.  

Prisoners are entitled to health care, but it is often expensively and inefficiently delivered…



Cuomo grants parolees the right to vote​

Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’s signed an executive order to give convicted felons on parole the right to vote.

Appealing to his left flank, Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that…

Criminal Justice Reform: March 16, 2017​

This event was the culmination of a six-month long effort to highlight the issues surrounding prison reform. Leading experts in criminal justice, law enforcement, prisons and neuroscience held panel discussions on prison reform.