Policy | Research | analysis

Our Work

Independent and nonpartisan, the Council serves as a center of gravity and incubator of policy and leadership for the criminal justice field. With a unique structure combining 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

Women's Justice Commission

The Women’s Justice Commission is examining the unique challenges facing women in the justice system and building consensus for evidence-based policy changes that enhance safety, health, and justice.
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Crime Trends

The mission of the Crime Trends Working Group is to explore and explain current crime trends, while building consensus for improvements in the nation’s capacity to produce timely, accurate, and complete crime data.
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Veterans Justice

The Veterans Justice Commission is examining the extent and nature of veterans’ involvement in the criminal justice system and developing recommendations for evidence-based policy changes that enhance safety, health, and justice.
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Long Sentences

The Task Force on Long Sentences examined how long prison terms affected public safety, crime victims and survivors, incarcerated individuals and their families, communities, and correctional staff and developed recommendations that will strengthen public safety and advance justice.
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Health and Reentry

Recent state and federal action has the potential to extend Medicaid coverage to incarcerated people nearing release. How can Medicaid reentry policies improve public health and public safety?
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Violent Crime

The Working Group included a diverse range of leaders representing community organizations, law enforcement, the public health sector, and academia. Its mission was to address the most critical and challenging issues related to the drivers of violent crime and highlight effective solutions for policymakers.
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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.
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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.
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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 to produce the greatest improvements in public safety and the administration of justice.
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Artificial Intelligence

The emergence of artificial intelligence presents opportunities and risks for criminal justice. CCJ’s AI initiative establishes a foundation to explore these implications through ongoing, evidence-based engagement, ensuring AI is used responsibly and effectively to advance safety and justice.
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Research and Analysis

Crime Trends Reports

CCJ began producing analyses of crime trends in mid-2020 as the nation experienced the effects of a COVID pandemic, the police killing of George Floyd, and ensuing mass protests. These periodic reports, examining up to a dozen offenses in a cross-section of cities, are now a key source of timely, reliable data for policymakers and the media.
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Pushing Toward Parity

While significant racial and ethnic disparities remain within the U.S. criminal justice system, research shows that those gaps narrowed during the first two decades of the 21st century - some by substantial margins. A series of analyses from CCJ examines the trends.
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The First Step Act

This research explores the First Step Act's impact on recidivism and compares the amount of prison time served by those released before and after the Act took effect.
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The Footprint

The Footprint is a series of interactive charts tracing changes in crime and victimization, arrests, incarceration, and community supervision. The resource is a one-stop shop that puts current criminal justice levels in context for practitioners, policymakers, researchers, journalists, and others.
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Centering Justice

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.
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Admissible Evidence

Admissible Evidence highlights academic research that has immediate implications for policy and practice. Selected studies span the full range of criminal justice issues and must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. To submit a study for consideration, contact
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Crime Bill: Legacy and 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?
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