Task Force Publications
Long Sentences by the Numbers: A Statistical Portrait
Who serves long sentences in the U.S.? This series of charts and analyses provided the foundation for the Task Force's deliberations.
Factors Affecting Time Served in Prison: The Overlooked Role of Back-End Discretion
How do laws and administrative rules governing prison release and the awarding of sentence credits affect time served? New research shows the impact can be significant, and varies widely by state.
The Impact of Long Sentences on Public Safety: A Complex Relationship
While there is a rich body of research on the relationship between incarceration and crime, much less is known about how prison sentences of 10 years or more affect public safety. The relationship is complex.
An International Perspective
The use of long prison sentences has increased globally in recent decades, but the U.S. is an outlier among nations in the extent to which it imposes them.
Reflections on Long Prison Sentences
What do crime victims, formerly incarcerated people, and family members have to say about the purpose and impacts of long prison sentences? We asked them.
The Public Safety Impact of Shortening Lengthy Prison Sentences
New research indicates that modest reductions in long prison sentences in Illinois would result in few additional arrests. The analysis for the task force examined arrest histories of people who served an average of 19 years behind bars to evaluate the public safety impact of shortening prison stays.
Long Sentences, Better Outcomes: Opportunities to Improve Prison Programming
Few prison programs target the unique needs of people serving sentences of 10 years or more. Those that do have not been rigorously evaluated for their effectiveness in promoting institutional safety or reducing recidivism.
The Relationship Between Sentence Length, Time Served, and State Prison Population Levels
Do people who receive the same sentence in court spend the same amount of time in prison? New research indicates that factors that vary by state, such as discretionary parole release and sentence credit discounts, have more impact on time served than the judicial sentence.