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Research Clearinghouse:

Beyond producing original research, the Prison Policy Initiative edits several databases to empower activists, journalists, and policymakers to shape effective criminal justice policy. This page contains links to virtually all the empirical criminal justice research available online, organized by category and publication date. If you know what you are looking for, you may also search the database. We also have an email newsletter (at right) for new research clearinghouse updates.


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Some of the most recently added reports are:

Thursday, October 12 2017:

  • Native Disparities in Youth Incarceration The Sentencing Project. October, 2017. "Native youth were three times as likely to be incarcerated as white youth, according to data collected in October 2015."
  • Latino Disparities in Youth Incarceration The Sentencing Project. October, 2017. "Latino youth are 65 percent more likely to be detained or committed than their white peers, according to data collected in October 2015."

Wednesday, October 11 2017:

  • Native American Youth and the Juvenile Justice System National Council on Crime and Delinquency. March, 2008. (Juvenile Justice disparities between Native American youth and White youth are alarmingly high and in need of remediation.)
  • Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth Out of Adult Courts (2015-2017), Campaign for Youth Justice. October, 2017. (Between 2015 & 2017, nine states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to limit or remove youth from adult facilities. In Oregon and New York, lawmakers passed bills in 2017 to categorically ban incarcerating youth with adults in the coming year.)
  • Economic Impacts of Cash Bail on the City of Philadelphia City of Philadelphia Office of the Controller. October, 2017. (The City of Philadelphia, by eliminating the cash bail system, could save over $75 million annually and provide a viable alternative to jail for a significant number of those arrested in Philadelphia in a given year.)
  • A Place to Call Home: A Vision for Safe, Supportive and Affordable Housing for People with Justice System Involvement, Prisoner Reentry Institute. October, 2017. (This document makes the case for providing digni ed housing that meets the needs of those with criminal justice histories, and providing it as quickly as possible upon reentry.)

Tuesday, October 10 2017:

  • The Crisis of Criminalization: A Call for a Comprehensive Philanthropic Response, Barnard Center for Research on Women. September, 2017. (This report is an urgent call for a comprehensive philanthropic response to the growing crisis of criminalization.)

Wednesday, October 4 2017:

  • Reflections on New National Data on LGBQ/GNCT Youth in the Justice System Harvard Kennedy School. September, 2017. (12-13% of boys in the justice system identify as gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming, or transgender (GBQ/GNCT), while 40% of girls identify as LBQ/GNCT. And, of these LGBQ/GNCT youth, 85% nationally are of color.)
  • Opening Doors: How to develop reentry programs using examples from public housing authorities, Vera Institute of Justice. September, 2017. "This guide is designed to support PHAs and other agencies that are beginning to develop new housing strategies and programming to meet the needs of formerly incarcerated people."

Friday, September 29 2017:

  • Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions, Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School. July, 2014. "This report documents the significant human cost of certain counterterrorism practices, such as aggressive sting operations and unnecessarily restrictive conditions of confinement."
  • The Long Road Home: Decreasing Barriers to Public Housing for People with Criminal Records, Human Impact Partners. May, 2016. (This report assesses the health and equity impacts of public housing admissions screening policies that exclude people with a criminal history from public housing, using the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) in Oakland, California as a case study.)
  • Report to the New York City Housing Authority: Applying and Lifting Permanent Exclusions for Criminal Conduct, Vera Institute of Justice. February, 2017. "The New York Housing Authority has a commitment to maintain the safety of its residents, but must also recognize the important role of families and housing for people involved with the criminal justice system when considering permanent exclusions."
  • Remote Access: Using Video Technology to Treat Substance Users on Probation and Parole in South Dakota, Vera Institute of Justice. October, 2016. "The state worked with local providers to pilot a teleconferencing program aimed at connecting people to community-based services without the cost and barrier of transportation or other access issues."
  • Bridging the Divide: Improving Parole Outcomes for Native Americans in South Dakota, Vera Institute of Justice. October, 2016. "This brief describes the issues that tribal communities face and how they are working together with the state government to provide effective services for Native American people on parole."
  • Public Housing for People with Criminal Histories Vera Institute of Justice. September, 2015. "Cities such as New York City, Oakland, and Chicago have implemented reforms in tenant-selection criteria that ensure a person’s application for housing is not negatively impacted by his or her criminal record."
  • How Safe are Americans with Disabilities?: The Facts About Violent Crime and Their Implications, Vera Institute of Justice. April, 2017. "This brief provides basic information on disability in the United States. It explores what is known about violent victimization of people with disabilities and the factors that contribute to their higher risk of experiencing violent crime."
  • Tribal Cime Data Collection Activities, 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics. July, 2017. "At midyear 2015, an estimated 2,510 inmates were confined in 76 Indian country jails. This was a 5.5% increase from the 2,380 inmates confined at midyear 2014 in 79 facilities."
  • PREA Data Collection Activities, 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics. June, 2017. "Rates of youth-on-youth sexual assault in female-only juvenile facilities (5.3%) were more than three times greater than those in male-only facilities (1.5%)."
  • Treatment Instead of Prison HIA (Case Story) Human Impact Partners. November, 2012. "Expanding alternatives to incarceration would reduce the prison population, reduce crime, lower recidivism, and strengthen families by keeping up to 1,600 parents a year out of prison each year."
  • Racial Disparity in Marijuana Policing in New Orleans Vera Institute of Justice. July, 2016. "This report illuminates through quantitative analysis the persistent racial disparities in marijuana policing from 2010 – 2015 and discusses the impacts of statutory and policy reforms the city has implemented to date."
  • Bridging the Gap: Improving the Health of Justice-Involved People through Information Technology, Vera Institute of Justice. March, 2015. "Aims to address the problems of disconnected justice and health systems and to develop solutions by describing barriers, benefits, and best practices for connecting community providers and correctional facilities using health information technology (HITs)"
  • Turning on the TAP: How Returning Access to Tuition Assistance for Incarcerated People Improves the Health of New Yorkers, Human Impact Partners. May, 2015. "Expanding access to college education for people in New York prisons would benefit the overall health and well-being of the communities that formerly incarcerated people return to, as well as the individuals who receive the education, and their families."
  • School Discipline and Restorative Justice (Case Story) Human Impact Partners. September, 2014. "If properly implemented, restorative justice could reduce suspensions in the six schools by 20% to 40%. Restorative justice would also lower dropout rates, which in turn would lead to fewer students who end up poor or in prison."
  • Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education in Prison: Fact Sheet for Corrections Leaders, Vera Institute of Justice. January, 2017. "Incarcerated people who participate in prison education programs are 43 percent less likely to recidivate than those who do not."
  • Future Now: A Process and Intermediate Outcomes Evaluation of the NYC GED Preparatory Program, Vera Institute of Justice. November, 2015. "Future Now is a GED preparatory program housed at Bronx Community College offering programs tailored to meet each student’s personal and educational needs, prepare them for college, and support students through their first year of enrollment."
  • Keeping Kids and Parents Together: A Healthier Approach to Sentencing in Massachusetts, Human Impact Partners. September, 2017. "Increasing judges’ discretion to authorize alternatives to incarceration that include treatment instead of prison or jail where appropriate can keep families intact."
  • Coming Home: An Evaluation of the New York City Housing Authority's Family Reentry Pilot Program, Vera Institute of Justice. November, 2016. "The study revealed that participants reuniting with their families both received support and supported others as they took on familial roles, especially as caregivers for elderly parents."
  • It Take a Village: Diversion for Police and Families, Vera Institute of Justice. June, 2016. "This brief explores the creative, collaborative, and community-focused work being done in Nevada, Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, and Oregon to find productive responses to youth “acting out.”"
  • Expanding the Reach of Victim Services: Maximizing the Potential of VOCA Funding for Underserved Survivors, Vera Institute of Justice. August, 2016. "Too often, victims of crime who are from underserved backgrounds are left out of victim services. With this new infusion of funds, the field can grow to better provide for marginalized people."
  • Family Unity, Family Health: An Inquiry on Federal Immigration Policy (Case Story), Human Impact Partners. June, 2013. "If deportations continue at 2012 levels, tens of thousands of U.S.-citizen children will suffer from poorer health, more behavioral problems, diminished educational achievement, increased poverty, and food insufficiency that may lead to hunger."
  • 23 Hours in the Box: Solitary Confinement in New Jersey Immigration Detention, New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees. June, 2015. "The passage of a bill like NJ S 2588 would mark a dramatic and humane improvement over the current disciplinary system."
  • Locked in the Past: Montana's Jails in Crisis, ACLU of Montana. February, 2015. "Many county detention centers in Montana have severe conditions issues and are underfunded, inadequately staffed, and largely ignored by county commissioners, county law enforcement departments, and the public."
  • Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform, Center for Court Innovation. March, 2017. "The report models the impact of several potential reform scenarios based on risk score including the possible cost savings to the city from downsizing the jail system."
  • Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Criminal Justice Reform Task Force: Report and Recommendations, Vera Institute of Justice. December, 2016. "The Oklahoma County pretrial justice system needs greater collaboration and oversight to ensure that the jail—the county’s most restrictive and most costly criminal justice resource—is being used judiciously."
  • The Human Toll of Jail Fact Sheet Vera Institute of Justice. February, 2016. "Today, about 14.5 percent of men and 31 percent of women in jails have a serious mental illness, compared to 3.2 and 4.9 percent respectively in the general population."
  • Reducing Youth Arrests Keeps Kids Healthy and Successful: A Health Analysis of Youth Arrest in Michigan, Human Impact Partners. June, 2017. "We evaluate the health and equity impacts of youth arrest (for kids under the age of 17) in Michigan, with a focus on the city of Detroit, and Wayne and Washtenaw Counties."
  • Juvenile InJustice: Charging Youth as Adults is Ineffective, Biased, and Harmful, Human Impact Partners. February, 2017. "This practice undermines the purpose of the juvenile court system, pursues punishment rather than rehabilitation, and conflicts with what we know from developmental science[...]and reinforce the racial inequities that characterize the justice system."
  • Juvenille Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth, Justice Policy Institute. February, 2013. "Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut highlights the past two decades of Connecticut’s successful efforts to improve responses to youth who engage in delinquent behavior and to reduce the number of youth placed into residential facilities"
  • Rising Up, Speaking Out: Youth Transforming Los Angeles County's Juvenille Justice System, Children's Defense Fund - California. January, 2015. "Five young people [...] share their own unique experiences inside probation camps and amplify key recommendations from an important UCLA focus group study on how to improve conditions inside Los Angeles County's camps."
  • Behind the Eleventh Door: Solitary Confinement of Individuals with Mental Illness in Oregon's State Penitentiary Behavioral Health Unit, Disability Rights Oregon. May, 2015. (This report looks at case studies from the Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) of the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) to determine the detrimental effects on mentally ill patients in solitary confinement.)
  • Selected Issues in Mental Health and Corrections: A Collection and Summary of Research, Disability Rights Nebraska. 2014. "Although only 7% of inmates were in solitary confinement, they accounted for 53% of acts of self-harm."
  • A Crisis in Search of Data: The Revolving Door of Serious Mental Illness in Super Utilization, Treatment Advocacy Center. April, 2017. "National or state-level data that quantify the role and cost of individuals with serious mental illness on law enforcement, corrections, emergency medical or homelessness services do not exist. "
  • Emptying the 'New Asylums': A Beds Capacity Model to Reduce Mental Illness Behind Bars, Treatment Advocacy Center. January, 2017. "In Texas, reducing the average hospital stay from 189 days to 186 days would reduce forensic bed waits from an average of two months to three days."
  • Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encounters, Treatment Advocacy Center. December, 2015. "The risk of being killed while being approached or stopped by law enforcement in the community is 16 times higher for individuals with untreated serious mental illness than for other civilians."
  • Police Perspectives Guidebook Series Vera Institute of Justice. February, 2016. "To improve relations between police and the communities they serve, this three-part guide series—written for police, by police—highlights practical, field-informed approaches to building trust with multiracial and multi-ethnic communities."
  • New York City's Pretrial Supervised Release Program: An Alternative to Bail, Vera Institute of Justice. April, 2017. "The supervised release program (SR) in NYC is an example of a new approach to handling cases pretrial. SR gives judges the option to release some defendants who would otherwise be detained due to their inability to make bail."
  • Creating a Culture of Safety: Sentinel Event Reviews for Suicide and Self-Harm in Correctional Facilities, Vera Institute of Justice. December, 2016. "Investigating the feasibility of using a sentinel events approach to review and learn from errors in the criminal justice system such as wrongful convictions, eyewitness misidentifications, or incidents of suicide and self-harm in custody."
  • Partnering with Community Sexual Assault Response Teams: A Guide for Local Community Confinement and Juvenile Detention Facilities, Vera Institute of Justice. March, 2016. "Partnerships with SARTs can help facilities implement coordinated, victim-centered response policies and procedures that meet key requirements of the PREA standards."
  • Past Due: Examining the Costs and Consequences of Charging for Justice in New Orleans, Vera Institute of Justice. January, 2017. "Past Due, and its accompanying technical report, reveal the costs and other consequences of a system that tries to extract money from low-income people and then jails them when they can’t pay."
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit Vera Institute of Justice. December, 2014. "In recent years, policymakers and the public have been asking whether justice policies pass the “cost-benefit test.” Two questions drive this discussion: First, what works to reduce crime? And second, are those programs and policies worth the cost?"
  • Common Ground: How all of Oregon Contributes to Criminal Justice Reform, Vera Institute of Justice. November, 2016. "This brief describes how the state of Oregon worked together with its local community and government partners to address its growing prison population."
  • Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: The Health Impacts of Locking People Up without a New Conviction, Human Impact Partners. December, 2016. "Revocation — being incarcerated for breaking the rules of a supervision arrangement (like parole, probation, or extended supervision) — feeds the mass incarceration cycle in the United States."
  • Parole Perspectives in Maryland: A Survey of People Who Returned to Prison from Parole and Community, Justice Policy Institute. May, 2015. "A new analysis from the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) shows the connection between efforts to reduce prison populations, connect people to work, and address the challenges of Baltimore’s distressed communities"
  • The Health Impacts of Prop 47: A Case Story, Human Impact Partners. September, 2014. (A health impact analysis study of the public health and equity benefits of reclassifying six low-level crimes of drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors in California.)
  • A Prosecutor's Guide for Advancing Racial Equity Vera Institute of Justice. March, 2015. "Despite efforts to be fair and equitable, prosecutors may unintentionally contribute to the overrepresentation of minorities in the nation’s courtrooms, prisons, and jails."
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