State of Justice Reform 2017

By Vera Institute of Justice

Like many justice reform organizations, Vera is often asked, “What are the latest and most interesting developments in the field?” This question has grown more common as more and more people confront the need to improve the nation’s broken justice system and want to help.

That’s why, today, we launched a new interactive report that identifies the major trends and developments in justice systems that occurred across the country during the first year of a new administration—and looks ahead to how this new landscape will inform reform work in a critical election year. Sourced from experts here at Vera and leaders in the justice space across the country, The State Of Justice Reform starts a vital conversation on progress and places for reform across issues in our justice systems, including pretrial justice, immigration, policing, substance use, and jail incarceration.

While our country faced challenges in 2017, we also saw an unprecedented commitment from state and local governments working to limit the use of cash bail, reduce solitary confinement in prisons, and build better trust between police departments and the communities they serve. Across the country, judges, police chiefs, public defenders, prosecutors, formerly incarcerated people, advocates and allies are looking to confront our broken justice system and seek opportunities to drive change and promote equity for all people.

This report shines a spotlight on the last year of developments in the field with the hope to understand the potential impact of reform, and help create a roadmap for the upcoming year.

We are encouraging the report to be used as a discussion and knowledge platform through the Comments feature that is on every topic page and some of the other pages as well.  This is where you can add updates about developments since Jan. 1, as well as developments from around the country that aren’t mentioned in the report. And, we hope you will share – and follow – on social.