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The Prison Policy Initiative works hard to organize all of the research about the criminal justice system so that you can find it and use it in your work. Can you help us grow this essential service?

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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, December 14 2017:

  • Yakima County, Washington Pretrial Justice System Improvements: Pre- and Post- Implementation Analysis, Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative. November, 2017. "Jurisdiction can reduce pretrial detention & improve racial/ethnic equity by replacing high use of secured money bail with non-financial release conditions guided by actuarial-risk-based decision making, with no harm to public safety or court appearance."
  • Second Chance Reforms in 2017: Roundup of new expungement and restoration laws, Collateral Consequences Resource Center. December, 2017. "In 2017, 23 states enacted laws aimed at reducing barriers faced by people with criminal records in the workplace and elsewhere."

Wednesday, December 13 2017:

  • OPIOIDS: Treating an Illness, Ending a War, The Sentencing Project. December, 2017. "This report examines the sources of the opioid crisis, surveys health and justice policy responses at the federal and state levels, and draws on lessons from past drug crises to provide guidance on how to proceed."
  • "Not in it for Justice": How California's Pretrial Detention and Bail System Unfairly Punishes Poor People, Human Rights Watch. April, 2017. "Nearly every offense in California is bail-eligible, yet many defendants cannot afford to pay. In California, the majority of county jail prisoners have not been sentenced, but are serving time because they are unable to pay for pretrial release."
  • "Don't Look Around": A Window into Inhumane Conditions for Youth at NORCOR, Disability Rights Oregon. December, 2017. "A lack of oversight and accountability has allowed Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) to neglect the basic mental health and social development needs of kids in custody."

Tuesday, December 12 2017:

  • "Money Bail": Making Ohio a More Dangerous Place to Live, The Buckeye Institute. 2015. "Ohio should address the demonstrated shortcomings of the cash bail system by expanding the judiciary’s access to proven risk-assessment tools that can provide a fairer, more efficient way to keep our communities safe and secure."

Thursday, December 7 2017:

  • Policing the Houseless 2.0 Million Dollar Hoods. December, 2017. "This report documents that LAPD arrests of houseless persons continued to climb during the first six months of 2017 and that just five charge categories accounted for the majority of houseless arrests."
  • The Price for Freedom: Bail in the City of L.A., Million Dollar Hoods. December, 2017. (The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), using the Los Angeles County Superior Court's misdemeanor and felony bail schedules, levied over $19 billion in money bail on persons they arrested between 2012 and 2016.)

Wednesday, December 6 2017:

  • Jails in Indian Country, 2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics. December, 2017. "An estimated 2,540 inmates were held in 80 Indian country jails at midyear 2016, a 1.2% increase from the 2,510 inmates held in 76 facilities at midyear 2015."

Tuesday, December 5 2017:

  • Disrupting the Cycle: Reimagining the Prosecutor's Role in Reentry, NYU Center on the Administration of Criminal Law. November, 2017. (Prosecutors have traditionally focused on their "front-end" role, but by defining their role as ending at case disposition, prosecutors miss an important opportunity to have a greater impact on public safety.)
  • Prison Health Care: Costs and Quality, [PDF] The Pew Charitable Trust. October, 2017. (This report paint a comprehensive picture of how states fund and deliver prison health care, how they compare with one another, and some reasons for differences.)
  • Born Suspect: Stop-and-Frisk Abuses & the Continued Fight to End Racial Profiling in America, NAACP. 2015. "This report is an analysis of the fight to end racial profiling in New York and the potential for nationwide implementation these efforts in every jurisdiction across the country."
  • Influences of Truth-in-Sentencing Reforms on Changes in States' Sentencing Practices and Prison Populations William J. Sabol ; Katherine Rosich ; Kamala Mallik Kane ; David Kirk ; Glenn Dubin. July, 2002. (The federal Truth In Sentencing grant program had very limited influence on state decisions to adopt truth in sentencing policies.)
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