States incarcerate the overwhelming majority of US prisoners (there were over six times more people in state prisons than federal ones in 2013). And states have been the ones driving the reduction in the national prison population over the last several years, as they’ve taken steps to reduce overcrowding, and reformed mandatory minimums and other harsh sentencing policies that require offenders to spend years and years in prison.

"Twenty years ago today, President Bill Clinton signed a massive anti-crime bill that put more Americans in prison.

But two decades later, an analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts found the states that reduced their incarceration rates actually saw bigger crime drops. That doesn’t mean less imprisonment leads to less crime. But the findings show there’s no credible correlation, and it gives more credence to previous research that found higher threats of incarceration don’t actually deter criminal activity.”