Laws that govern the criminal justice system—and how they are enforced—must uphold the constitutional principle thatall people are treated fairly. Those who write and enforce the laws must beaccountable to the communities they serve.
responses to crime mustserve justiceandbe proportionalto the severity of the crime. Past practices of reflexively pursuing the harshest punishment led tounjust levels of mass incarceration, particularly for communities of color.
Solutions embracingcomprehensive approaches outside of the justice system—in public and behavioral health, education, jobs, and housing—must be at the center of any strategy toprevent crime; reduce violence and recidivism; and close opportunity gaps.
Instead of relying on conventional wisdom or gut feeling, criminal justice policies and approaches should be informed bydata and evidence. Policies and strategies should beevaluatedrigorously, regularly, and transparently in order to ensure that those policies’ goals are being achieved.