There are 1,942,600 people in state prisons and jails in the U.S.
The Smart Justice 50-State Blueprints show how each state can cut the number of people behind bars by half.
America is in the grip of a mass incarceration crisis that has damaged families, harmed communities, and deepened racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Since 1970, state prison and jail populations have exploded, fueled by an obsession with incarceration.
It’s a national crisis, but it’s also one that flows from choices made by state and local governments.
The toll has been heavy for people of color, who are imprisoned at far higher rates than whites across the country.
States are spending huge chunks of their budgets on prisons rather than on other community needs.
In Texas, for example, where 163,703 people were imprisoned in 2016, the state spent $3.5 billion on corrections.
This isn’t what a healthy society looks like.
We’re long overdue for real change.
If states adopt reforms presented in the blueprints, nearly 1,000,000 people would not be behind bars.
To reach this goal, states will have to end mandatory minimum sentences and three strikes laws that put people in prison for decades.
Instead of imprisoning people with substance use and mental health needs, they’ll have to provide treatment and alternatives to incarceration.
Ultimately, each state will have to roll back the harmful policies that created this crisis.
On its own, this won’t end racial disparities. That will require fighting for racial justice on all fronts.
We need your help.
Read our state-by-state plan to fix this broken system.
Each of these dots is a person, locked away somewhere.

It’s time for us to make a change.