The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) is part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and conducts research and sponsors activities to promote sound policy and effective management in the administration of safety and justice.

We do this through action research, course instruction and curriculum development, and by maintaining long-lasting partnerships with practitioners and other scholars. We organize 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.

Tour our site to learn more about us – our people, our current work encompassing all aspects of security, safety, and justice in different parts of the world – as well as how to connect with us.

Prospective Students


Established in 1980 by the Daniel and Florence V. Guggenheim Foundation, the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management has had a continuing commitment to include practitioners in its work to:

  • Devise situations in which the researchers learn from the practitioners and the practitioners learn from both the researchers and each other;
  • Synthesize and extract the best ideas;
  • Work to put these ideas into good currency

Integrating theory with practice and academicians with practitioners—through research, Executive Sessions, teaching, writing and publishing—the Program in Criminal Justice has attempted to challenge conventional wisdom in various domains of criminal justice policy.

The Program in Criminal Justice takes a sector-wide view of criminal justice, focusing on the policies and management of multiple institutions whose work contributes to safety and justice, rather than specializing on issues of policing, courts, or corrections. By examining multiple institutions at once, the program takes a broad view of several issues that affect the entire justice and safety sector, such as transparency, legitimacy, protection of human rights, and cost-effectiveness.

The Program also takes an international, comparative approach to questions of safety and justice. This includes research to expand the range of empirical indicators available to facilitate comparisons among countries, particularly comparisons that cut across legal traditions and levels of economic development.

Professor Bruce Western

Prof. Bruce Western discussing The Boston Reentry Project at a recent PCJ Criminal Justice Lunchtime Talk

Photo: Brian Welch, PCJ