Research Library:

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.

Tips: If you know what you are looking for, you may also search the database. We also have an email newsletter (at right)(at bottom) for new research library updates.


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Some of the most recently added reports are:

Friday, August 30 2019:

  • Arrest, Release, Repeat: How police and jails are misused to respond to social problems, Prison Policy Initiative. August, 2019. "Our analysis confirms that people who are repeatedly arrested and jailed are arrested for lower-level offenses, have unmet medical and mental health needs, and are economically marginalized."
  • Women in Prison Camp: Judicial Process and Effect on Families, Capella. June, 2019. "Most women in this study (86%) consider themselves punished predominantly by separation from their families and children. Collateral damage to the families and young children is considered legally permissible and thus remains ignored."

Wednesday, August 28 2019:

  • Association of Parental Incarceration With Psychiatric and Functional Outcomes of Young Adults Elizabeth J. Gifford, Lindsey Eldred Kozecke, and Megan Golonka. August, 2019. "Parental incarceration is associated with a broad range of psychiatric, legal, financial, and social outcomes during young adulthood. Parental incarceration is a common experience that may perpetuate disadvantage from generation to generation."
  • Examining the relationship between U.S. incarceration rates and population health at the county level Robert R. Weidner and Jennifer Schultz. August, 2019. "Results of our analyses indicate that higher levels of incarceration are associated with higher levels of both morbidity (percentage reporting fair or poor health) and mortality (life expectancy)."
  • The Treatment of People with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System: The Example of Oneida County, New York, Alexander Black, Kylie Davis, Kenneth Gray, Connor O'Shea, Alexander Scheuer. June, 2019. "The sub-standard condition of inpatient psychiatric facilities, due to deinstitutionalization and capital flight, means that there are not nearly enough beds or psych wards to house, let alone care for, all individuals with severe mental health issues."
  • The Effectiveness of Mental Health Courts in Reducing Recidivism and Police Contact: A Systematic Review, Desmond Loong, Sarah Bonato, Jan Barnsley, Carolyn S. Dewa. June, 2019. (The results suggest there is some evidence that mental health courts help to reduce recidivism rates, but the effect on police contact is less clear. Results also suggest case managers or access to vocational and housing may be important components.)
  • The Contagiousness of Police Violence Thibaut Horel, Trevor Campbell, Lorenzo Masoero, Raj Agrawal, Andrew Papachristos and Daria Roithmayr. November, 2018. "Most remarkably, within two years, exposure to a single shooting more than doubles a network neighbor's probability of a future shooting."
  • Decriminalization and Depenalization of Marijuana Possession: A Case Study of Enforcement Outcomes in Prince George's County, Meghan Kozlowski, Emily Glazener, James A. Mitchell, James P. Lynch, Jinney Smith. 2015. "The results suggest that changing arrest policies for low-quantity marijuana possession led to increases in enforcement for other low-level misdemeanor offenses. Additionally, our findings shed light on net-widening as a potential unintended consequence."
  • Fighting Crime or Raising Revenue? Testing Opposing Views of Forfeiture., Brian Kelly. June, 2019. "These results add to a growing body of scholarly evidence supporting forfeiture's critics, suggesting that claims about forfeiture's value in crime fighting are exaggerated at best and that police do use forfeiture to raise revenue."
  • Confirmation Bias and Other Systemic Causes of Wrongful Convictions: A Sentinel Events Perspective, Kim Rossmo and Joycelyn Pollock. July, 2019. "Detectives must minimize the risk of error by accurately assessing evidence reliability and avoiding premature shifts to suspect-based investigations. Resolving issues of cognitive bias and avoiding logic/analytic mistakes are equally important."
  • Diversity on the Force: Where Police Don't Mirror Communities, Governing. September, 2015. "Despite efforts to improve diversity, minorities remain largely underrepresented in many local police departments."
  • Sentences of Incarceration Decline Sharply, Public Safety Improves During Kim Foxx's Second Year in Office New data portal demonstrates benefit of criminal justice reform, transparency, The People's Lobby, Reclaim Chicago, and Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. July, 2019. "We find that the use of prosecutorial discretion in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office has led to a decrease in incarceration sentences. At the same time, public safety has improved."

Tuesday, August 27 2019:

  • The Darkest Corner: Special Administrative Measures and Extreme Isolation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Center for Constitutional Rights. September, 2017. "Special Administrative Measures are the darkest corner of the U.S. federal prison system, combining the brutality and isolation of maximumsecurity units with additional restrictions that deny individuals almost any connection to the human world."
  • Immigration, Citizenship, and the Federal Justice System, 1998-2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics. August, 2019. "In 1998, 63% of all federal arrests were of U.S. citizens; in 2018, 64% of all federal arrests were of non-U.S. citizens."

Monday, August 26 2019:

  • Pretrial Release Without Money: New York City, 1987-2018, New York City Criminal Justice Agency. March, 2019. "In 2018 there were more than three times as many releases without money than money bails."

Friday, August 23 2019:

  • Collateral Consequences: The Crossroads of Punishment, Redemption, and the Effects on Communities, The United States Commission on Civil Rights. June, 2019. "The reach of each collateral consequence extends past people with criminal records to affect families and communities."
  • Incarceration and opioid withdrawal: The experiences of methadone patients and out-of-treatment heroin users, Mitchell et al.. June, 2019. (Withdrawal is infrequently treated and represents a lost opportunity to engage or retain heroin addicted individuals in treatment and thereby reduce their risk for HIV, for overdose deaths, and for recidivism to drug use and crime.)
  • ISOLATED: ICE Confines Some Detainees with Mental Illness in Solitary for Months, Project On Government Oversight. August, 2019. "About 40 percent of the records show detainees placed in solitary have mental illness. At some detention centers, the percentage is much higher."
  • An Analysis of Texas Jail Bookings: How Texas Counties Could Save Millions of Dollars by Safely Diverting People From Jail, Texas Appleseed. April, 2019. "Our overarching finding is that tens of thousands of people who are booked into Texas jails each year never need to be booked in jail at all."
  • Gatekeepers: The Role of Police in Ending Mass Incarceration, Vera Institute of Justice. August, 2019. "The mass enforcement of relatively minor law violations suggests that policing practices currently tend toward punitive approaches in ways that are often not necessary to achieve public safety."
  • The 911 Call Processing System: A Review of the Literature as it Relates to Policing, Vera Institute of Justice. August, 2019. "Analysis of calls for service data provides a huge and largely untapped opportunity for researchers and practitioners to inform and transform policy and practice."
  • Opportunity Costs: Unequal Justice in Alabama's Community Corrections Programs, Southern Poverty Law Center. August, 2019. "The SPLC's eight-month investigation of community corrections programs in Alabama reveals serious flaws in a "user-funded justice" system that, in many locales, seems to be focused more on raising money than on rehabilitation or public safety."
  • The Agony & the Ecstasy of #MeToo: The Hidden Costs of Reliance on Carceral Politics, Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith. July, 2019. "Approaches that rely on carceral politics are deaf to the needs of survivors, especially when those needs diverge from maximizing state power."
  • Misdemeanor Appeals Nancy J. King and Michael Heise. July, 2019. (Authors found that appellate courts review no more than eight in 10,000 misdemeanor convictions, and disturb only one conviction or sentence out of every 10,000 misdemeanor judgments.)


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