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The Program in Criminal Justice research aspires to influence public policy and practice in the safety, crime, and justice sectors. Our research and publications emanate principally from our funded research projects including executive sessions – intensive conversations among leading practitioners and scholars in a specific field that span several years, punctuated by research, practical experimentation, and collaborative publications.
The overarching themes that link our primary subject areas are:
Improving public safety
Creating partnerships between communities and public agencies
Enhancing the quality of life in communities
As a research program with close ties to the world of practice, the Program in Criminal Justice's (PCJ) primary goal is to influence the field.
To achieve this goal the Program has employed the following five (5) types of activities (which are not mutually exclusive) to accomplish its work: Action Research, Case-Based Research, Traditional Academic Research, Executive Sessions, and Publications.
Click on the links located at left as well as at the top of this page to learn about the specific research projects conducted by the Program in Criminal Justice.
Action research combines, as the name suggests, both action and research. While data are being collected and research conducted, the information is being used to effect change.
The usual method is for a working group to be established that discusses the data collected by the researchers and, through a problem-solving process, designs interventions to address the identified problems.
In cased-based research, each case offers a rich story about the complexities, challenges, and successes or failures of a specific problem and place.
Researchers/casewriters conduct a series of on-site visits and interviews to collect the data for the case. It is expected that the observations presented in the written case will have transferable lessons for similar or other arenas.
Most of these cases are listed on our publications page
Traditional academic research has been utilized throughout the Program's history. Results from many of these projects have been used to influence public policy.
An Executive Session is a convening of individuals of independent standing who are prepared to take joint responsibility for rethinking and improving society's responses to an issue.
The basic model of an Executive Session is a series of five or six three-day meetings, usually held over a period of three years, in which twenty-five to thirty high-level practitioners and academics engage in a creative dialogue with a view to redefining, and proposing solutions for, substantive policy issues.
Publications are always an important component of the work of a research center. The Program in Criminal Justice has produced a large number of working papers (i.e., not formally published), especially in support of its Executive Sessions.
You may also view research from our PCJ faculty through the HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series (Crime and Criminal Justice).
Similar to working papers, publications are also an important component of the work of a research center. Researchers have published books and articles as products of their projects for the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management.
See our Publications page page for an index of published works.
Click on the sections below (or at top left) to locate reports, working papers, externally published articles, as well as internal news about research conducted in the following practice areas by the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ):