Decades of harsh, carceral law enforcement practices have perpetuated cycles of violence and harm without making us safer. The number of individuals behind bars—particularly for low-level offenses—is not a measure of public safety, and in fact has tremendous costs and consequences that detract from the goal of creating healthy, stable communities. Progress toward this goal requires transformational change in the way we approach law enforcement practices, specifically in the fields of policing, prosecution, and sentencing. We cannot continue to use incarceration as our default solution. All over the country, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and lawmakers are reducing their reliance on enforcement and incarceration, and are instead implementing practices and policies that focus on reinvestment, research-based strategies, and community engagement.
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