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

The Enforcement of COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders Article
A member of the Metropolitan Police Department closes off areas surrounding the Washington Monument and National Mall due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, March 2020. (Getty/Win McNamee)

The Enforcement of COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders

As the novel coronavirus pandemic intensifies, officials must be vigilant in educating and persuading the public to adhere to stay-at-home orders, only using the criminal justice process as a last resort.

Betsy Pearl, Lea Hunter, Kenny Lo, 1 More Ed Chung

Ending the War on Drugs: By the Numbers Fact Sheet

Ending the War on Drugs: By the Numbers

Researchers and policymakers alike agree that the war on drugs is a failure. Policymakers must replace the war on drugs with a fairer, more effective model that treats substance misuse as a public health issue—not a criminal justice issue.

Betsy Pearl

Ending the War on Drugs Report
Used hypodermic needles are seen in a bin, July 2, 2015, at a Maine public health center's needle exchange. (Getty/Portland Press Herald/Joel Page)

Ending the War on Drugs

From needle exchanges to decriminalization, cities are pursuing strategies once considered unthinkable to address drug misuse outside the criminal justice system.

Betsy Pearl, Maritza Perez

Second Chance Cities: Local Efforts to Promote Re-Entry Success Report
A man walks down the hallway near his cell June 2017, in San Quentin, California. (Getty/Ezra Shaw)

Second Chance Cities: Local Efforts to Promote Re-Entry Success

In honor of Second Chance Month, Prison Fellowship’s campaign to eliminate barriers to opportunity for justice-involved Americans, CAP is highlighting the range of approaches that cities have adopted to promote second chances for all of their residents.

Betsy Pearl, Lea Hunter

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