Urban Rural Action and Pennsylvania Prison Societyimplemented a Vera Institute of Justice-funded criminal justice reform program in Adams County, PA and Philadelphia in 2019. “Consensus-Building for Incarceration Reduction" (CBIR) brought together a diverse group of 27 community members from Philadelphia and Adams County, PA with experience with a criminal justice system that needs to change. The group included justice reform advocates, professionals, students, and retirees with political views across the ideological spectrum.
Over six days in September and October 2019 in Philadelphia and Adams County, the group aligned on a vision of increasing community safety by fostering an effective criminal justice system that is just, equitable, and that invests in our people and communities. See more in the video below and the group's public statements.
CBIR Program Outcomes
Increased familiarity with data on incarceration rates and jail conditions in Adams County and Philadelphia
Built consensus on reforms that would reduce incarceration across Philadelphia and Adams County
Designed and implemented projects to advance criminal justice reform
Formed relationships among participants through homestays, shared meals, and collaboration on criminal justice reform
How We Worked Together
Met over six days in Philadelphia and Gettysburg in September and October: criminal justice expert presentations, small group discussions, social activities to build relationships, tour of correctional facility
Disseminated public statements that reflect group's consensus on needed reforms
Implemented projects to improve the criminal justice system across Philadelphia and Adams County, PA
Adams County, PA
Population density: 197 people per square mile
89% white, 7% Hispanic, 2% black
Median age: 43
President Trump won 66% of the vote in '16 in Adams County.
75% increase in commitments to state prison between 2006 and 2015
Population density: 11,380 people per square mile
42% black, 37% white, 12% Hispanic
Median age: 34
President Trump won 15% of the vote in '16 in Philadelphia
Incarceration rates in Philadelphia County have declined significantly over past several years