Criminal Justice

Welcome. The Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (BCCJ) has merged with the original Warren Institute to create an expanded Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy. The Criminal Justice program will have much the same focus as BCCJ. But it will now be able to tap the broader expertise of the larger research unit. The Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security has also joined the new institute. The consolidation of these think tanks will spur greater collaboration among scholars and policy experts as the law school continues to research urgent social and legal issues.

The mission of the Criminal Justice program is to enhance public safety and foster a fair and accountable justice system through research, analysis, and collaboration.

 

     

NEW PUBLICATION


CALIFORNIA IN CONTEXT:  HOW DOES CALIFORNIA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM COMPARE TO OTHER STATES? 

In this research brief, Sarah Lawrence examines how California compares to other states across a range of criminal justice measures.  The brief looks at population measures related to probation, jail, prison, and parole to help provide a better understanding of the criminal justice system in California.

To download this report, click here.


PUTTING CALIFORNIA'S PUBLIC SAFETY REALIGNMENT IN CONTEXT:
AN OVERVIEW OF FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION

This issue brief looks at the current public safety realignment in California through a different lens.  It steps back from the current realignment to look at the philosophical and historical underpinning of fiscal centralization.  It examines the literature and past realignments in the state to highlight both the promises and pitfalls from this type of decentralization. 

To download this report, click here.    


EXPLORING THE ROLE OF THE POLICE IN PRISONER REENTRY

One thing is certain for nearly all prisoners who are in state and federal custody: they will come back. Traditionally, the police have played little part in facilitating the reentry of prisoners into the community.  A new paper by Jeremy Travis of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Chief Ronald Davis of the East Palo Alto Police Department, and Sarah Lawrence of the Warren Institute argue that police, particularly urban police departments, have a major role to play in prisoner reentry, in part because of high recidivism rates among returning offenders and because of their concentration in some of the poorest, highest-crime neighborhoods.  Greater involvement of the police in prisoner reentry can promote public safety and increase police legitimacy, particularly in communities of color, through enhanced community policing efforts.  The topic is particularly relevant in California in the context of realignment.

The paper is part of the New Perspectives in Policing Series, which is supported by the National Institute of Justice.

To download report at National Institute of Justice, click here.


A COMPLEX AND COMPASSIONATE RESPONSE: THE ROLE OF VICTIM / WITNESS ASSISTANCE CENTERS IN RESPONDING TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN CALIFORNIA

This report provides the first-ever comprehensive look at California’s 59 Victim/Witness Assistance Centers (VWACs), providing government-based crisis and support services to victims of crime in every county and the City of Los Angeles.  Specifically it focuses on role of VWACs in responding to one of the most vulnerable population of crime victims - women victims of violence.  Among other findings, the report identifies a lack of adequate financial support to consistently deliver even minimal rights and services mandated by law.  The report was funded by the California Emergency Management Association (CAL EMA) and in partnership with the California District Attorneys’ Association (CDAA) and the California Crime Victims Assistance Association (CCVAA).

To download this report, click here.