Improving Outcomes and Reducing the Scope of the Criminal Justice System

September 27, 2021

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, holding 2.3 million people in state, federal, and juvenile detention facilities across the country and US territories. Ultimately, the challenge for lawmakers is to take advantage of the broad based momentum around reforming and improving our criminal justice system to lessen the burden on communities, boost legitimacy of the system in the eyes of citizens, and materially improve the prospects of offenders to end a cycle of distrust and demoralization.

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At the 2020 Future Summit the Millennial Action Project (MAP) announced a partnership with Represent Justice and the film Just Mercy to launch the MAP Criminal Justice Reform Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is a bipartisan group of ten state legislators leading the conversation about creating a more equitable criminal justice system in their states and across the country. The 2020-2021 Advisory Council is co-chaired by Reps. Leslie Herod (D-CO) and Tanner Magee (R-LA) and includes legislators from Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon, and Wisconsin. 

The Advisory Council focused on four issue areas: court fines and fees, sentencing reform, recidivism reduction, and justice reinvestment. In partnership with multiple policy organizations, the Advisory Council deepened legislators’ understanding of these issues and their potential solutions through a series of webinars and conversations with experts. This brief will include highlights of that work and update members of the State Future Caucus Network on the innovative policy solutions being considered around the country that reduce the scope of the criminal justice system while improving outcomes for individuals and their communities. 

  1. Court Fines and Fees

  2. Sentencing Reform

  3. Reducing Recidivism 

  4. Justice Reinvestment

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Rep. Sara Jacobs


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