Betsy Pearl

Associate Director



Betsy Pearl

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Betsy Pearl is an associate director for Criminal Justice Reform at American Progress. Pearl came to American Progress from the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served as a policy adviser in the Office of Justice Programs. In that role, her work focused on advancing innovative public safety interventions in the field, including evidence-based strategies for reducing unnecessary confinement, expanding diversionary options, and improving public trust in the justice system. Pearl also served as an adviser to the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a coalition of federal agencies focused on removing barriers and expanding opportunities for justice-involved individuals. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Pearl was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Pearl holds a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in American government from Georgetown University.

Latest by Betsy Pearl

5 Discussions That Shaped the Justice Reform Movement in 2020 Article
A protester wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt stands at a memorial event in Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2021, to mark the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor's death. (Getty/Jeremy Hogan)

5 Discussions That Shaped the Justice Reform Movement in 2020

While more must be done to shrink the footprint of the U.S. criminal justice system, the national dialogue around reform during summer 2020 has inspired transformative ideas and tangible policies that can be built on moving forward.

Kenny Lo, Sarah Figgatt, Betsy Pearl, 1 More Chelsea Parsons

The Community Responder Model Report
An employee answers calls at the Essex County Regional Communications Center in Middleton, Massachusetts, on June 22, 2017. (Getty/The Boston Globe/Nicholas Pfosi)

The Community Responder Model

Establishing a new branch of civilian first responders can help cities reduce overreliance on the police.

Amos Irwin, Betsy Pearl

Clemency 101 Fact Sheet
Pictured is a day of hearings at the Massachusetts Parole Board, which recommends clemency to the governor. (Getty/John Tlumacki)

Clemency 101

Clemency is a criminal justice reform tool that governors and the president can use to correct unjust sentences.

Kenny Lo, Betsy Pearl, Akua Amaning

Policing During the Coronavirus Pandemic Article
A NYPD police officer looks on as a woman crosses Seventh Avenue in New York City on April 12, 2020. (Getty/John Lamparski)

Policing During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Police have a responsibility to change their practices amid the pandemic to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the public and law enforcement officers.

Ed Chung, Betsy Pearl, Lea Hunter

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