The Safety and Justice Challenge is an initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to reduce mass incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. As part of the initiative, a network of competitively selected local jurisdictions are developing and modeling effective ways to reduce the misuse of jail.

Vera is working with five of the 20 jurisdictions selected for the Challenge to provide technical assistance in their jail reform efforts. Vera is also providing communications support for the initiative, including through the initiative’s website,, as well as major research, policy, and storytelling publications that drive public debate on the misuse of jails.

Project Objectives

  • Develop and test practical and transformative reforms to reduce the misuse of jail incarceration.

  • Engage stakeholders and the public in an evolving national conversation about the role of jail incarceration in local criminal justice systems.

  • Expand and share widely the knowledge base on the causes and consequences of jail incarceration.