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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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Enter one word from the title, author or topic to search the clearinghouse:

Advanced search options and entire database by the date added.

word cloud of search terms

Some of the most recently added reports are:

Thursday, November 9 2017:

  • An Overdose Death Is Not Murder: Why Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Are Counterproductive and Inhumane, Drug Policy Alliance. November, 2017. (This report argues that drug-induced homicide laws exacerbate the very problem they seek to remediate by discouraging people who use drugs from seeking help and assistance.)
  • Reforming Criminal Justice: Bridging the Gap Between Scholarship and Reform, Academy for Justice. October, 2017. (This report covers dozens of topics within the areas of criminalization, policing, pretrial and trial processes, punishment, incarceration, and release.)

Thursday, November 2 2017:

  • Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017, Prison Policy Initiative. March, 2017. (Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie answers the essential questions of how many people are locked up, where, and why.)
  • The State of Pretrial Justice in America Pretrail Justice Institute. November, 2017. (This report uses basic indicators to document and grade current pretrial practice in all fifty states.)
  • Women's Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017, Prison Policy Initiative. October, 2017. "This report provides a first-of-its-kind detailed view of the 219,000 women incarcerated in the United States, and how they fit into the even larger picture of correctional control."
  • The Intersection of Juvenile Courts and Exclusionary School Discipline [PDF] National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. October, 2017. (This report provides real-world strategies to reduce the number of youth who unnecessarily come into contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system.)

Monday, October 30 2017:

  • Punishment Is Not a "Service": The Injustice of Pretrial Conditions in Cook County, Chicago Community Bond Fund. October, 2017. "The overwhelming experience of people supported by CCBF shows that pretrial conditions expand and compound the harms of incarceration by denying people access to their jobs, housing, social supports, and even medical care."
  • 50,000 children: The Geography of America's Dysfunctional & Racially Disparate Youth Incarceration Complex, Youth First. October, 2017. "While the US Department of Justice reports that youth incarceration rates have decreased 50% between 1999 and 2013, too many youth are still locked up, and racial disparities among committed youth have widened."

Friday, October 27 2017:

  • Reducing Substance Use Disorders and Related Offending A Continuum of Evidence-Informed Practices in the Criminal Justice System, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. April, 2017. "By integrating evidence-informed practices, criminal justice agencies and communities can save lives, decrease costs to the criminal justice system, healthcare systems, and taxpayers."
  • Ban the Box and Racial Discrimination Urban Institute. February, 2017. "When information about a person’s criminal history is not present, employers may make hiring decisions based on their perception of the likelihood that the applicant has a criminal history."
  • Addressing the Intersections of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness Principles for Change, Coalition for Juvenile Justice. February, 2017. "The Principles in this document provide a roadmap for communities to help young people avoid experiencing juvenile justice system involvement and/or youth homelessness."
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