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Prison Reform

This guide is designed to help you find material available on Prison Reform in the United States.


Prison and Asylums Reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, establish a much more effective penal system, or implement alternatives to incarceration. It also focuses on ensuring the reinstatement of those whose lives are impacted by crimes.

In recent years, activists and lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum have publicly considered an array of possible reforms to the American correctional system. Their reasons are diverse—some are concerned about humanitarian issues within the prison system, some are trying to rein in massive governmental spending, some are trying to rationalize inconsistent policies, others are trying to redress inequities in the law. 


Prison Fence, Razor Ribbon, Wire, Metal

Image Credit: Pixabay


eBooks + Books

Discover eBook collections or find print books/materials through the catalog for each campus:


Suggested Websites

Bureau of Justice Statistics

The United States' primary source for criminal justice statistics.

Center for Prison Reform

 We are a coalition of like-minded partners that support prison reform at every stage of the process.

Charles Koch Institute

Inspiring bold ideas to improve American lives.


Works to to create a more fair and effective justice system that respects our American values of individual accountability and dignity while keeping our communities safe.

UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

A global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. 

The Marshall Project

A nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. 

Prison Policy Initiative

Produces cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization and then sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society.

The Sentencing Project

Criminal justice facts.



From mass hunger strikes and work stoppages behind bars, to wider reform movements, a panel of experts discuss the politics of punishment in the United States. Participants include Bernard E. Harcourt of Columbia Law School, Heather Ann Thompson of the University of Michigan and Vesla Mae Weaver of Johns Hopkins University. Christopher Berk, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, served as moderator. Dean Risa Goluboff gives an introduction to the event.