Research Library:

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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.

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:

Tuesday, December 29 2020:

  • "Defunding the Police" and People With Mental Illness Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. August, 2020. "We should dramatically reduce the role of the police in the lives of people with mental illness. As the same time, mental health services should be expanded and racial disparities in their delivery eliminated."

Tuesday, December 22 2020:

  • Officer Use of Force and the Failure of Oversight of New York City Jails Jennifer Ferentz. November, 2020. "Ultimately, this Note argues the actors responsible for changing the rules governing New York City jails and the practices carried out within them are abdicating that responsibility when it comes to this violence."
  • Since you asked: Just how overcrowded were prisons before the pandemic, and at this time of social distancing, how overcrowded are they n, Prison Policy Initiative. December, 2020. "41 states are currently operating at 75% or more of their capacity, with at least 10 of those state prison systems and the federal Bureau of Prisons operating at more than 100%."
  • The research is clear: Solitary confinement causes long-lasting harm, Prison Policy Initiative. December, 2020. "Prisons and jails are already inherently harmful, and placing people in solitary confinement adds an extra burden of stress that has been shown to cause permanent changes to people's brains and personalities."
  • Prisons shouldn't be charging medical co-pays - especially during a pandemic Prison Policy Initiative. December, 2020. "Our December survey of medical co-pay policies shows that some states are reinstating medical co-pays as COVID-19 continues to spread in prisons."
  • Incarcerated people and corrections staff should be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccination plans Prison Policy Initiative. December, 2020. "38 of the 49 states addressed (or seemed to address) incarcerated people as a priority group at all, in the original plans or in later updates. But in many states, correctional staff are prioritized before incarcerated people."
  • The Impact of Incarceration on Food Insecurity among Households with Children Sally Wallace and Robynn Cox. October, 2012. "Food insecurity for adults and households with children (a less dire level of food insecurity than very low food security) is affected by parental incarceration under most specifications with magnitudes of impact from 4 to 15 percentage points."
  • Trends in Issuance of Criminal Summonses in New York City, 2003-2019 Data Collaborative for Justice. December, 2020. "Almost half of all marijuana possession summonses were issued to Black people (45.5%). Over 40% of summonses issued for disorderly conduct, public consumption of alcohol, and violations of transit authority rules were issued to Black people."

Monday, December 21 2020:

  • The Accreditation Con: A Broken Prison and Detention Facility Accreditation System That Puts Profits Over People, Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren. December, 2020. "It reveals that the ACA's private prison accreditation system is riddled with conflicts of interest, lacks transparency, and is subject to zero accountability even though millions in taxpayer dollars to flow to the ACA and private prison companies."

Thursday, December 17 2020:

  • Hotbeds of Infection: How ICE Detention Contributed to the Spread of COVID-19 in the United States, Detention Watch Network. December, 2020. "ICE's failure to release people from detention during the pandemic added over 245,000 cases to the total U.S. caseload."

Wednesday, December 16 2020:

  • Defund Sheriffs: A Toolkit for Organizers, Working Families, Sheriffs for Trusting Communities, Faith in Action Fund, & Community Resource Hub for Safety and Accountability. October, 2020. "Defunding sheriffs should be an urgent priority for anyone concerned with mass incarceration and police violence."
  • Emergency Department visits for depression following police killings of unarmed African Americans Paywall :( Abhery Das, Parvati Singh, Anju K.Kulkarni, and Tim A. Bruckner. November, 2020. "Police killings of unarmed African Americans correspond with an 11% increase in ED visits per 100,000 population related to depression among African Americans in the concurrent month and three months following the exposure (p < 0.05)."

Tuesday, December 15 2020:

  • Eating Behind Bars: Ending the Hidden Punishment of Food in Prison, Impact Justice. December, 2020. "Budget cuts and stagnant spending have led to fewer hot meals, smaller portions, lower-quality protein, fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, and more ultra-processed foods, as well as poorly equipped and ill-supervised kitchens that compromise quality."
  • Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center. November, 2020. "Non-policing approaches to violence prevention can produce significant benefits without the attendant harms of policing and punishment."
  • Medicaid's Evolving Role in Advancing the Health of People Involved in the Justice System The Commonwealth Fund. November, 2020. "Siloes between correctional and community health care providers disrupt care coordination and create gaps in treatment and health services that can be life-threatening."
  • Experience to Action: Reshaping Criminal Justice After COVID-19, Council on Criminal Justice. December, 2020. "The size, scale, and scope of the criminal justice system, along with the absence of effective public health coordination, posed a significant obstacle to COVID-19 prevention and control."
  • The Square One Project. May, 2020. "Of the approximately 612,000 individuals that are currently being held in county jails, the vast majority, about 460,000, are awaiting some type of adjudication and thus are presumed innocent."
  • Counterevidence of crime-reduction effects from federal grants of military equipment to local police Paywall :( Gunderson et al. December, 2020. "We show that the 2014 data are flawed and that the more recent data provide no evidence that 1033 SME reduces crime."
  • The Prison Industry: How It Started, How It Works, How It Harms, Worth Rises. December, 2020. "This report maps the twelve sectors of the prison industry and details the extraction of wealth from the families that have been most disproportionately brutalized by over-policing, mass criminalization, mass incarceration, and mass surveillance."
  • Exploring Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System Over the Year Following First Arrest Paywall :( Padgaonkar et al. December, 2020. "Black youth committed fewer offenses prior to arrest than White youth, Black and Latino youth were more likely to be formally processed, and Black youth were most likely to be rearrested."
  • Learned Helplessness, Criminalization, and Victimization in Vulnerable Youth Square One Project. December, 2020. "In the United States and worldwide, youth detainment has become an immediate, catch-all response to challenges perceived as affecting public order and safety."


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