The Presence of Justice

This project is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge.

Can Cops Unlearn Their Unconscious Biases?

“Implicit bias” training is spreading to departments around the country, the theory being it can influence officer behavior on the street. But it’s still not clear that the classes actually work.

The Truth About Violent Crime in America's Cities

A new projection has violent crime rates dropping this year in the largest U.S. cities. Homicides remain alarmingly high in some places, but one takeaway is clear: There’s little evidence to support Jeff Sessions' claim of a "dangerous permanent" crime rise.

The Long History of Black Officers Reforming Policing From Within

Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump’s agenda are inspiring some police to more vocal advocacy. But their project—ending racial bias in the profession—is a decades-old one.

A hand holding out a card that says "The Liberty Fund"

Why New York City Created Its Own Fund to Bail People Out of Jail

The city’s new plan may seem counterintuitive. But it’s one of several ways NYC is trying to reform a bail system that the state largely controls.

The Baltimore Cops Studying Plato and James Baldwin

Training programs help officers brush up on policing techniques and best practices. But in one instructor’s course, they study literature, history, and philosophy instead.

Will Criminal Justice Reform Survive Under New Orleans' New Mayor?

How the mayoral race about criminal justice reform became a race about credit cards.

What Happens When a School Stops Arresting Kids for Throwing Skittles

School officials in Jefferson Parish have embraced a much softer approach to discipline than just a few years ago. And suspensions are down dramatically.

How New Jersey Is Leading the Post-Bail Revolution

A new report shows how far the rest of the U.S. has to go to catch up on bail reform.

A young teenager sits in a classroom at Atlanta's Metro Regional Youth Detention Center.

Staunching the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Recent reports highlight the injustices found in school disciplinary practices and suggest ways to stop them.

New Orleans' Great Bail Reform Experiment

The most incarcerated city in the most incarcerated state is experimenting with programs to reduce its jail population. And so far, they seem to be working.

Municipal Courts' War on Poor People, Explained

A new federal report lays out why sending people to jail for unpaid fines is still a major problem that can’t be fully quantified across the U.S.

Reeling from a Murder Spike, Baltimore Grasps at a Gun Bill

The controversial bill establishes a mandatory minimum penalty for illegal firearm possession.

New Zealand Tries a Different Kind of Private Prison

A new high-security facility in Auckland flips the incentives on for-profit incarceration to keep inmates from returning.

New York City May Stop Arresting Turnstile Jumpers

The practice of cracking down on subway fare evaders has its roots in “broken windows”-style policing.

Four New York City police officers arresting a man.

The Price of Defunding the Police

A new report fleshes out the controversial demand to cut police department budgets and reallocate those funds into healthcare, housing, jobs, and schools. Will that make communities of color safer?

Designing the Opposite of Rikers

A new report lays out design guidelines for community-based “justice hubs”—jails that create positive effects inside and outside their walls.

Criminal Justice Reform Survives Its First Stress Test

Why didn’t the fall of former Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams on fraud and corruption charges doom his reform-minded agenda?  

The Rise of Rural Incarceration

Local jails in smaller counties are seeing enormous growth. A new report explains why.

The Case For Hiring Ex-Offenders

New research shows how keeping people with criminal records out of the workforce costs us.

Why New Orleans Leads the U.S. in Wrongful Convictions

Louisiana just passed a suite of prison reform bills, but incarceration will remain a problem so long as district attorneys keep wrongfully locking people up.

Why Boston Is Paying Ex-Gang Members To Go To College

The deal: $400 a week to stay in school. Is it worth it?