With over 7 million Americans under the control of the criminal justice system and more than 2.3 million behind bars coupled with the highest rate of minority incarceration, the criminal justice system is larger than ever and undoubtedly in need of reform. Its growing tentacles have impacted almost every demographic subset of our country. The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. The system also has massive hidden economic and societal costs that reverberate throughout society, affecting us all.
The Center for Justice Research, recognizing the need for scientific recommendations for the reduction of mass incarceration, will produce practically-relevant criminal justice research for high-impact empirical analyses and effective policy solutions. Research has shown that the most under-examined, yet most powerful player, in this current criminal justice crisis is the district attorney/prosecutor. Subsequently, you will find the primary research projects in this area are focused on prosecutorial actions to end mass incarceration, as they are uniquely situated to do so because of their wide ranging discretion and power.