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Our mission is to empower activists, journalists, and policymakers to shape effective criminal justice policy, so we go beyond our original reports and analyses to curate a database of virtually all the empirical criminal justice research available online.

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Some of the most recently added reports are:

Tuesday, January 18 2022:

  • Pandemics, Prisons, and Policy: An Overview of Criminal Justice and Public Health in Tennessee, Hadassah Betapudi and Anna Walton. December, 2021. "Among the 50 states, Tennessee ranks 20th for the highest number of state prisoners infected with coronavirus per capita, with 7,290 total cases.20 Significantly, this means there is one known case per every three prisoners."
  • Investigation of New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Incarcerated Individual Drug Testing Program, New York Office of the Inspector General. January, 2022. "From January through August 2019, incarcerated individuals found to have positive drug test results at a disciplinary hearing received significant--and in some cases ultimately undeserved--punishments that jeopardized their rehabilitation and release."
  • When Accidental Overdose is Treated As Murder: Seeking Relief for Defendants, Morgan Godvin, Northeastern University Health in Justice Action Lab. October, 2021. "By scapegoating individuals for structural failures and conflating performative vengeance with justice, the government has opened a new frontier in the Drug War."
  • Custodial Sanctions and Reoffending: A Meta-Analytic Review, Damon M. Petrich et al. September, 2021. "Beginning in the 1970s, the United States began an experiment in mass imprisonment...Skeptics argued that imprisonment may have a criminogenic effect. The skeptics were right."
  • Costs and Consequences of Eliminating a Routine, Point-Of-Care HIV Screening Program in a High-Prevalence Jail Angela B. Hutchinson et al. November, 2021. "Routine HIV screening in high-prevalence jails is cost effective and has a larger impact on public health than targeted testing."
  • The Paid Jailer: How Sheriff Campaign Dollars Shape Mass Incarceration, Common Cause and Communities for Sheriff Accountability. December, 2021. "Sheriffs are politicians who make major decisions about health and safety for millions of Americans--and they shouldn't be up for sale to the highest bidder."
  • The Thin Blue Waveform: Racial Disparities in Officer Prosody Undermine Institutional Trust in the Police, Nicholas P. Camp et al. July, 2021. "Officers communicate different levels of respect, warmth, and ease toward Black and White citizens....these interpersonal cues accumulate across interactions to shape citizens' perceptions of and trust in law enforcement."
  • Police Exposures and the Health and Well-being of Black Youth in the US: A Systematic Review, Paywall :( Monique Jindal et al. September, 2021. "Evidence shows that police exposures are associated with adverse health outcomes for Black youth."
  • Criminalizing Homelessness: Circumstances Surrounding Criminal Trespassing and People Experiencing Homelessness, Paywall :( Brie Diamond, Ronald Burns, Kendra Bowen. December, 2021. "Criminal trespassing (CT) is an understudied misdemeanor offense often enforced to maintain control over contested spaces and, in practice, often disproportionately used against disenfranchised populations such as the homeless and mentally ill."
  • Time for Justice: The Urgent Need for Second Chances In Pennsylvania's Sentencing System, Families Against Mandatory Minimums. November, 2021. "Based on average incarceration costs, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) is spending $220 million per year to incarcerate 3,892 people who have already served at least 20 years. The true cost is undoubtedly higher."
  • Mortality and Cause of Death Among Youths Previously Incarcerated in the Juvenile Legal System Donna A. Ruch et al. December, 2021. "In this cohort study of 3645 previously incarcerated youths, the all-cause mortality rate was 5.9 times higher in previously incarcerated youths than the rate observed in general population, Medicaid-enrolled youths."

Monday, January 10 2022:

  • Punitive ambiguity: State-level criminal record data quality in the era of widespread background screening, Paywall :( David McElhattan. February, 2021. "This study develops the concept of punitive ambiguity to characterize the burdens of incomplete criminal records and examines how they vary at the state level, providing evidence that punitive ambiguity is racially patterned."
  • Bloody Lucre: Carceral Labor and Prison Profit, Laura I. Appleman. August, 2021. "The economic exploitation that occurs with most inmate labor is doubly troubling in times of emergency or disaster, where often prisoners' health, safety, and even life is risked to ensure cost-savings on the part of governments or private industry."
  • The Effects of College in Prison and Policy Implications Paywall :( Matthew G. T. Denney and Robert Tynes. December, 2021. "We employ a design-based approach to infer the causal effect of participation in [a college-in-prison program]. We find a large and significant reduction in recidivism rates."
  • Association of Incarceration With Mortality by Race From a National Longitudinal Cohort Study Benjamin J. Bovell-Ammon et al. December, 2021. "Experiencing an incarceration in adulthood was associated with lower life expectancy for Black but not for non-Black participants. Our study confirmed known racial disparities in rates of incarceration and life expectancy."
  • Beyond Jails: Community-Based Strategies for Public Safety, Vera Institute of Justice. November, 2021. "Genuine partnership with nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups must be at the center of efforts to create a network of supports that function effectively, equitably, and without funneling people into the criminal legal system."
  • Proliferation or adaptation? Differences across race and sex in the relationship between time served in prison and mental health symptoms, Paywall :( Lauren C. Porter, Meghan Kozlowski-Serra, and Hedwig Lee. May, 2021. "Drawing on data from the Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities in 2004 (N = 12,118), our findings suggest that time served is correlated with mental health symptoms, but that the association differs across race and sex."
  • Policing the pandemic: estimating spatial and racialized inequities in New York City police enforcement of COVID-19 mandates, Sandhya Kajeepeta et al. November, 2021. "Findings suggest that ZIP codes with higher percentages of lower income and Black residents experienced disproportionately high rates of policing during the COVID-19 pandemic in the name of public health."
  • Beyond Payment Plans: Breaking the Cycle of Court Debt in Tennessee, Think Tennessee. December, 2021. "For Tennesseans who face an endless cycle of penalties due to an inability to pay court debt, the county where they live could determine whether they have access to a payment plan that could help them break free."
  • The Perils of Probation: How Supervision Contributes to Jail Populations, Vera Institute of Justice. October, 2021. "People held for probation violations can make up a fairly large proportion of the average daily jail population even in sites with relatively low jail admissions for violations."
  • Georgia: Monitoring Data Trends after 2017 Justice Reinvestment Initiative Reforms, Council of State Governments Justice Center. November, 2021. "The reduction in the active felony probation population resulting from Georgia's Justice Reinvestment policies has allowed officers to focus time and resources on people at the highest risk to recidivate."
  • Justice in Decision-Making: Studying Racial & Ethnic Disparities in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance. October, 2021. "While our analysis showed that case processing in the Brooklyn DA's office resulted in fewer racial and ethnic disparities than expected overall, there were more notable disparities within specific offense types or charges."
  • Effect of Juvenile Justice Fee Repeal on Financial Sanctions Borne by Families Jaclyn E. Chambers, Karin D. Martin, and Jennifer L. Skeem. September, 2021. "We estimate that the likelihood of experiencing any financial sanction was 22.2% lower post-repeal [in Alameda County] compared to pre-repeal, and the total amount of sanctions was $1,583 (or 70%) lower."
  • Youth in Adult Courts, Jails, and Prisons Sentencing Project. December, 2021. "In 2019, on any given night, there were 3,500 children sleeping in adult jails and prisons."
  • Adolescent Protective and Risk Factors for Incarceration through Early Adulthood Paywall :( Elizabeth S. Barnert et al. April, 2021. "Adolescent protective factors against incarceration onset and higher incarceration frequency centered on education, including a higher grade point average and a higher likelihood of having future plans to attend college."


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