Rights and Justice

Criminal Justice Reform

We focus on developing policies to shrink the justice system’s footprint, improve public health and safety, and promote equity and accountability.

People march for the third day since the release of the grand jury report on the death of Breonna Taylor on September 26, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. (Getty/Michael M. Santiago)

What We're Doing

Ending mass incarceration

Our work is centered around developing and supporting policies that will end unjust punishments and reduce the social and economic harms of mass incarceration, which have disproportionately devastated Black people and other communities of color.

21st century policing

We are working to advance measures that will increase police transparency and accountability, overhaul harmful police practices, and prioritize community-based solutions to public safety.

The war on drugs

We are working to drastically reduce the criminalization of drugs in America while restoring communities that have been most affected by harsh drug enforcement measures.

Second chances

We advocate for policy options that remove obstacles and barriers for people affected by the criminal justice system while simultaneously highlighting the leadership of affected people in the reform movement.

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Recent Work

Latest

The MORE Act: A Fair and Just Approach to Marijuana Policy Video

The MORE Act: A Fair and Just Approach to Marijuana Policy

The war on drugs has adversely affected people of color for decades; if enacted, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act has an opportunity to correct these harms.

Max Hardman, Kurt Mueller, Akua Amaning

‘A Mistake Shouldn’t Sit on Your Shoulders.’ Video
 (Clean Slate PA video thumbnail)

‘A Mistake Shouldn’t Sit on Your Shoulders.’

As Pennsylvania’s historic Clean Slate Act takes effect, people like Keith will finally have their minor criminal records cleared so that they can have a second chance.

Jasmine Hardy, David Ballard, Rebecca Vallas

Introducing Clean Slate Video

Introducing Clean Slate

The Center for American Progress and partners gathered to discuss bipartisan clean slate legislation—policies to automatically clear certain criminal records and give people relief from discrimination.

Aloha Backenstose, Zahra Mion, David Ballard, 1 More Rebecca Vallas

The Need for Sentencing Reform for Women and Mothers Video

The Need for Sentencing Reform for Women and Mothers

There is a dire need for smart sentencing reform—particularly for women and mothers who are trapped in prison for economic crimes.

Maritza Perez, Andrew Satter, Jasmine Hardy

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