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:

Thursday, February 15 2024:

Monday, February 12 2024:

  • Lessons from COVID-19 can help prisons & jails prepare for the next pandemic Prison Policy Initiative. April, 2023. "Without any serious change to our reliance on mass incarceration -- this population will continue to bear the disproportionate burden of public health crises."
  • One in Five: How Mass Incarceration Deepens Inequality and Harms Public Safety (Part 4), Sentencing Project. January, 2024. "Mass incarceration's hold on vast public resources, its imposition of financial burdens, and the obstacles erected for people with criminal records further erode economic and social buffers against crime."
  • Since You Asked: What's next for prison and jail phone justice now that the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act is law?, Prison Policy Initiative. January, 2023. "The Martha Wright-Reed Act accomplishes two main things: It clarifies the FCC's authority to regulate in-state calls placed from correctional facilities, as well as clarifying the agency's authority to regulate video calls."
  • How 12 states are addressing family separation by incarceration -- and why they can and should do more Prison Policy Initiative. February, 2023. "Four states and the federal prison system have implemented requirements that parents be detained within a specified distance of their kids, making it easier for children to access their caregivers."
  • Why states should change Medicaid rules to cover people leaving prison Prison Policy Initiative. November, 2022. "Research shows that expanding access to healthcare through Medicaid saves lives and reduces crime and arrest rates -- along with state spending."
  • How a Medicare rule that ends financial burdens for the incarcerated leaves some behind Prison Policy Initiative. January, 2023. "For people released from prison after January 1, 2023, there are new Medicare enrollment rules that create a 12-month Special Enrollment Period during which recently released people can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B without any financial penalties...."
  • New data on HIV in prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic underscore links between HIV and incarceration Prison Policy Initiative. June, 2023. "It seems unlikely that the drop in the HIV-positive prison population was the result of a targeted effort to protect the health of these individuals."
  • New data: Police use of force rising for Black, female, and older people; racial bias persists, Prison Policy Initiative. December, 2022. "During traffic stops, Black and Hispanic people were the most likely groups to experience a search or arrest. Meanwhile, white people were the least likely to receive a ticket and the most likely just to get off with a warning during a traffic stop."
  • One in Five: Disparities in Crime and Policing (Part 2), Sentencing Project. November, 2023. "These racial and ethnic disparities in police contact snowball as individuals traverse the criminal legal system. They also, as discussed below, reduce the perceived legitimacy of policing."
  • Mortality, health, and poverty: the unmet needs of people on probation and parole, Prison Policy Initiative. April, 2023. "Three in 10 people under community supervision have substance use disorders, four times the rate of substance use disorders in the general population."
  • Racial disparities in diversion: A research roundup, Prison Policy Initiative. March, 2023. "Diversion decisions are often highly subjective, leaving candidates vulnerable to the racial biases held by police, prosecutors, judges, or other decisionmakers."
  • One in Five: Ending Racial Inequity in Incarceration (Part I), Sentencing Project. October, 2023. "As national and local politics resume the politicization of crime and drug policies, it is crucial to take stock of the progress that must be defended and built upon."
  • One in Five: Racial Disparity in Imprisonment -- Causes and Remedies (Part 3), Sentencing Project. December, 2023. "Extreme sentences for violent crimes and reliance on criminal histories as a basis for determining prison sentences are drivers of racial disparities in imprisonment."
  • How your local public housing authority can reduce barriers for people with criminal records Prison Policy Initiative and Selena Munoz-Jones. February, 2023. "Public housing policies -- which should be a part of a crucial safety net against housing insecurity -- actually discriminate against people with criminal legal involvement and criminal records."
  • What is civil commitment? Recent report raises visibility of this shadowy form of incarceration, Prison Policy Initiative. May, 2023. "With little transparency about or consistent standards regarding how to progress through treatment, many people inside say that civil commitment feels like a de facto life sentence."

Thursday, February 1 2024:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic and operational challenges, impacts, and lessons learned: A multi-methods study of U.S. prison systems, Meghan A. Novisky et al. December, 2023. "[Prison] daily operations were strained, especially in the areas of staffing, implementation of public health policy, and capacities to sustain correctional programming."
  • Death By Design: Part 1, The Wren Collective. December, 2023. "In all 28 Harris County capital cases we reviewed, trial lawyers failed to uncover relevant evidence."
  • Death By Design: Part 2, The Wren Collective. December, 2023. "Every single attorney we interviewed in Harris County told us that there were simply not enough well-trained mitigation specialists for hire, especially those trained in mental health."
  • Dementia in the incarcerated population: a retrospective study using the South Carolina Alzheimer's disease registry, USA, Paywall :( Margaret Chandlee Miller et al. February, 2023. "For ages 55 and above in South Carolina, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias is 6.7% in the general, non-incarcerated population compared to 14.4% in the incarcerated population."
  • A Racial Disparity Across New York That Is Truly Jarring New York Civil Liberties Union. December, 2022. "In Manhattan -- one of the wealthiest and least equal places in the country -- courts convicted Black people of felonies and misdemeanors at a rate 21 times greater than that of white people over the past two decades."


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