Smart on Crime: Reforming the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century

Source: United States Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, August 2013

The initial package of reforms described below —dubbed the Justice Department’s “Smart on Crime” initiative — is only the beginning of an ongoing effort to modernize the criminal justice system. In the months ahead, the Department will continue to hone an approach that is not only more efficient, and not only more effective at deterring crime and reducing recidivism, but also more consistent with our nation’s commitment to treating all Americans as equal under the law. We of course must remain tough on crime. But we must also be smart on crime.

Five Principles of “Smart on Crime”
1. Prioritize Prosecutions To Focus on Most Serious Cases
2. Reform Sentencing to Eliminate Unfair Disparities and Reduce Overburdened Prisons
3. Purse Alternatives to Incarceration for Low-Level, Non-Violent Crimes
4. Improve Reentry to Curb Repeat Offenses and Re-victimization
5. ‘Surge’ resources to Violence Prevention and Protecting Most Vulnerable Populations