Smart on Research

Smart on Research

The latest criminal justice-based work from our John Jay College research centers

By Jocelyn Key

Phil Goff
Phil Goff announces COMPSTAT for
Justice during the Atlantic Live Sessions

Center for Policing Equity (CPE) Measures Justice with New Software
Leveraging data collected from police departments nationwide for its National Justice Database, CPE’s COMPSTAT for Justice is a new system to help police departments identify how police actions impact racial disparities. “By collecting a representative sample of police data, CPE will be able to provide the first national snapshot of how much, and if, police departments contribute to racially disparate outcomes,” said CPE Cofounder and President, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, at CPE’s May 2018 biennial convening, Mapping the Science of Justice. “From this information, it is possible to begin crafting national benchmarks, and collective goals, for reducing racial disparities at the front end of our criminal legal system.” Aiming to build trust between police and the communities they serve, CPE has worked for more than a decade to bridge the divide of communication, generational mistrust, and suffering in communities and use science to work toward public safety and racial equity.

Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) Launches Career Pathways
With a focus on human services, PRI’s new Career Pathways program promotes access to training and employment for people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. Career Pathways recently launched an entry-level technology course called Tech 101. The course offers instruction on basic internet and computer skills, such as Microsoft Office, Google Suite and email. “A 2013 study found that only 22 percent of Americans in prison have ever used a computer,” said David Thorpe, Director of Career Pathways. “This gap in computing basics is one of many obstacles faced by returning citizens looking for employment.” Through Tech 101 and future training opportunities with Career Pathways, PRI believes it will make it easier for formerly incarcerated individuals to find employment, particularly in the human-services field, once they reenter society. PRI has also recently expanded its program providing college coursework in facilities.

The Prison-to-College-Pipeline is now at Queensboro Correctional Facility and has partnered with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) to create “Is College For Me?”—a public access resource explaining the college process.

David Kennedy, Director of the NNSC
David Kennedy,
Director of the NNSC

National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) Addresses Community Trust Issues
Funded through a Department of Justice grant, the National Initiative for Building Trust and Justice (NI) is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between minority communities and the criminal justice system. It aims to advance the public and scholarly understanding of the issues contributing to those relationships by highlighting three areas that hold great promise for rapid, concrete progress: reconciliation, honest conversations about the community harms that can be caused by traditional law enforcement and policing; procedural justice, examining how interactions between law enforcement and the public shape the public’s opinions on police; and implicit bias, focusing on how unconscious psychological processes impact the actions of authorities and lead to racial disparities in policing. The NI is combining existing and newly developed interventions informed by these ideas in pilot sites in Birmingham, Alabama; Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Stockton, California.