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:

Monday, January 22 2018:

  • Cruel & Usual Punishment: Excessive Use of Force at the Estelle Unit, [PDF] Prison Justice League. February, 2015. (This report reveals countless instances of Estelle correctional officers using excessive force on prisoners, causing serious bodily injuries. It is a pattern apparently well-known to prison officials, but ignored.)
  • A Texas Sized Failure: Sexual Assaults in Texas Prisons, Prison Justice League & the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. November, 2016. "Regardless of claims that PREA standards are being implemented in Texas prisons, reports from prisoners themselves indicate that sexual assaults in Texas correctional facilities remain a serious problem."
  • A "Rigged System": How the Texas Grievance System Fails Prisoners and the Public, Prison Justice League. June, 2017. (Prisoners in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice lack confidence in the available grievance system to adequately address their complaints, noting a range of issues such as delays in receiving a response and concerns about oversight.)
  • Designed to Fail: The President's Deference to the Department of Justice in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform, Rachel E. Barkow and Mark Osler. June, 2017. "This Article offers institutional changes that would help future presidents make the system less punitive and reduce prison populations."
  • Pretrial Detention Reform: Recommendations to the Chief Justice, Judicial Branch of California Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup. October, 2017. (California's pretrial detention system unnecessarily compromises victim & public safety because it bases a person's liberty on financial resources, not their likelihood of future criminal behavior, exacerbating socioeconomic disparities & racial bias.)
  • One War. Two Races. Bias Reigns in Florida's War on Drugs, Herald Tribune. January, 2018. "Blacks represent 17 percent of Florida’s population but have accounted for 46 percent of the state’s felony drug convictions since 2004."

Thursday, January 11 2018:

  • Court Fines and Fees: Criminalizing Poverty in North Carolina, North Carolina Poverty Research Fund. January, 2018. (In recent decades, the North Carolina General Assembly has levied a costly array of fees on low income Tar Heels and their families, creating massive hardships for those caught in webs of criminal justice debt.)

Wednesday, January 10 2018:

  • The Gender Divide: Tracking women's state prison growth, Prison Policy Initiative. January, 2018. "This report sheds more light on women in the era of mass incarceration by tracking prison population trends since 1978 for all 50 states."

Monday, January 8 2018:

  • Crime in 2017: Updated Analysis, Brennan Center for Justice. December, 2017. (This report finds that murder rates in major American cities are estimated to decline slightly through the end of 2017.)
  • Access to Health Care and Criminal Behavior: Short-Run Evidence from the ACA Medicaid, Jacob Vogler. 2015. (This research article indicates that state Medicaid expansions have resulted in significant decreases in annual crime by 3.2 percent.)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers and Local Crime Bondurant, Samuel R.; Lindo, Jason M.; and Swensen, Isaac D.. September, 2016. (This report finds that substance-abuse-treatment facilities reduce both violent and financially motivated crimes in an area, and that the effects are particularly pronounced for relatively serious crimes.)
  • Police Employment, Officers Per Capita Rates for U.S. Cities Governing. October, 2016. "In 2016, police departments serving cities with populations exceeding 25,000 employed an average of 16.8 officers and 21.4 total personnel for every 10,000 residents."
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