Over-Incarceration: A Uniquely American Problem
The scale and severity of America’s criminal justice system is a unique problem unmatched by any other developed nation. This crisis disproportionately impacts people of color, and costs the nation $80 billion annually in law enforcement spending and between $55 and $60 billion in lost annual Gross Domestic Product.
Our country’s over-reliance on mass incarceration is a failed experiment that adversely impacts communities and families, and has no positive effect on public safety. It’s a problem that can, and must, urgently be addressed with effective community alternatives. Community-based programs encourage innovative solutions that meet local priorities, foster collective action, and support new leaders who can spearhead efforts to make their own neighborhoods safer and stronger.
It is time to boldly reimagine our nation’s justice system.
Public Welfare Foundation’s Criminal Justice Program makes grants primarily to state-based groups that are working to:
- Advance the redirection and prioritization of state and local resources toward targeted investments that support system-involved individuals in their communities, through research and strategic thought leadership.
- Reduce state incarceration levels and racial disparities through reforms in sentencing, charging, and supervision policies and procedures.
A Transformed System Requires a New Approach
America’s scaled response to crime isn’t working. It has yielded little in public safety outcomes and relied heavily on a system that causes grave damage to all it touches.
Public Welfare Foundation aims to end the over-incarceration of adults in the U.S., while reducing racial disparities. At the same time, we work to advance community reinvestment strategies that help people stay out of the system.
Heroes exist in the very neighborhoods that are most often relegated for being riddled with crime and violence. It is time to resource these leaders and let them bring us into a new era of restoration and redemption. It is through this effort that we will be able to overhaul the systems that were created to marginalize our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
The Incarceration Crisis
It is time to boldly reimagine our nation’s approach to criminal justice.