Smart Decarceration Inaugural Conference

​"From Mass Incarceration to Effective and Sustainable Decarceration"

Date: September 24-26, 2015
Location: Washington University in St. Louis

Mass incarceration is no longer sustainable or socially acceptable. As a result the U.S. early in the 21st century faces the immense challenge of rethinking and transforming our criminal justice system in ways that will achieve decarceration by:
  • Reducing our national overreliance on incarceration
  • Ameliorating racial and economic disparities in the criminal justice system
  • Promoting public safety in more socially just and effective ways

In order for effective and sustainable decarceration to occur we must:

  • Establish conceptual frameworks of decarceration that are theoretically and empirically driven
  • Build effective alternatives to incarceration, from behavioral interventions to policy reforms
  • Allocate resources for social innovations that advance decarceration
  • Form cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaborations to foster criminal justice system transformation
The inaugural conference of the Smart Decarceration Initiative convened a diverse group of thought-provoking and inspiring leaders in policy, practice, and research dedicated to criminal justice reforms. The conference promoted collaboration across disciplines and sectors and stimulated scientifically driven, practical, and applied policy and community-based innovations.
The conference featured prominent national speakers and will be open to the public. In addition, national and local thought leaders worked together to outline conceptual frameworks of decarceration through transdisciplinary problem solving, innovation, research and action. One major outcome of the conference will be an edited volume that details evidence, conceptual frameworks, and an action plan for sustainable and effective decarceration. The volume will be widely distributed to facilitate thoughtful, effective action.
To view the keynote presentations, plenary speakers, and panels, visit the links below:
View the PowerPoint presentations from each panel:  
The conference was organized by the Smart Decarceration Initiative and these partner organizations:
Conference sponsors included the following:​