Centering Justice is a collaborative project engaging a diverse range of the nation’s top thinkers and doers in an ongoing, ideologically vibrant conversation about criminal justice policy. Two pillars anchor the initiative. One is an allegiance to data and evidence; the second is a commitment to viewing criminal justice challenges through shared principles that enable people of different perspectives to find common ground on measures that strengthen public safety, protect due process, and promote equity.

Centering Justice is led by two CCJ staff members – Director of Strategic Partnerships Khalil A. Cumberbatch and Chief Policy Counsel Marc Levin. Through writings, interactive events, partnerships, and other means, the duo strives to bring light rather than heat to some of the most vexing issues of our time, from the evolving role of policing to sentencing, incarceration, and racial disparities.

Our Work

Man sticking his hands between prison bars

Jail Before Trial Should Be the Exception, Not the Norm

March 9, 2023

Lawmakers in some states are pushing to make it harder for defendants to avoid pretrial detention. There are better ways to protect public safety that don’t conflict with the presumption of innocence.

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The Hill
‘Hotspot policing’ — We must recalibrate tactics after Nichols killing

February 11, 2023

When robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he famously said “because that’s where the money is.” This has also been the sensible rationale for hotspot policing.

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The Hill
A healthier path out of prison leads to safer communities

December 14, 2022

Our prisons don’t have enough staffers to protect inmates or themselves. Better pay, benefits and working conditions are needed, and there are other effective strategies.

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Our Founders

Cumberbatch_Khalil_0736_3k_crop copy
Khalil A. Cumberbatch
Senior Fellow
Mark Levin
Marc Levin
Chief Policy Counsel

About the Art

The banner design was created by an adult in custody designer in the Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) Graphic Design program. The mission of OCE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Corrections, is to promote public safety by providing adults in custody with work and training opportunities in a self-sustaining organization.