Independent and nonpartisan, the Council serves as a center of gravity and incubator of policy and leadership for the criminal justice field. A national invitational membership organization and criminal justice think tank, the Council has the intellectual horsepower and diverse expertise needed to translate research and data into policy grounded in facts, evidence, and fundamental principles of justice - and the clout to turn policy proposals into action.

Policy Projects

Violent Crime Working Group

The Working Group includes a diverse range of leaders representing community organizations, law enforcement, the public health sector, and academia. Its mission is to address the most critical and challenging issues related to the drivers of violent crime and highlight effective solutions for policymakers.

Task Force on Policing

The Independent Task Force on Policing was launched in November 2020. Its mission was to identify the policies and practices most likely to reduce violent encounters between officers and the public and improve the fairness and effectiveness of American policing. The Task Force is evaluating more than two dozen proposed policing reforms, including those focused on preventing excessive use of force, reducing racial biases, increasing accountability, and improving the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice

The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice was launched in July 2020. Its mission was to assess the impact of COVID 19 on the justice system, develop strategies to limit outbreaks, and produce a priority agenda of systemic policy changes to better balance public health and public safety.

Independent Task Force on Federal Priorities

The 14-member Task Force on Federal Priorities was the Council's first. It was convened from June 2019 through early March 2020 and was chaired by former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. The Task Force recommendations represent actionable, politically viable steps that the federal government can take now and in the near future to produce the greatest improvements in public safety and the administration of justice.

Research and Analysis

Trends in Correctional Control by Race and Sex

While significant racial and ethnic disparities remain within the U.S. criminal justice system,  this study shows that those gaps narrowed between 2000 and 2016 across local jail and state prison, probation, and parole populations - some by substantial margins.

Crime Bill: Legacy & Lessons Learned

After 25 years, the Crime Bill is as controversial as ever-and as important to understand.What did the Crime Bill actually do? What does the research say about the impact it had on crime and justice? What lessons does it offer policymakers today? To help answer these critical questions, the Council commissioned an ongoing series of analyses from some of the nation's most respected crime experts.

Admissible Evidence

The Admissible Evidence blog is designed to highlight rigorous research focused on the criminal justice field. Topics of past blog posts range from an officer recruitment strategy that was effective in attracting a larger and more diverse applicant pool to how a deferred adjudication of guilt in one Texas county affected the likelihood of future convictions.