The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy is a multidisciplinary, collaborative venture to produce research, research-based policy prescriptions, and curricular innovation on the most challenging civil rights, education, criminal justice, family and economic security, immigration and healthcare issues facing California and the Nation. The Warren Institute’s mission is to engage the most difficult topics in a wide range of legal and public policy subject areas, providing valuable intellectual capital to public and private sector leaders, the media and the general public, while advancing scholarly understanding. Central to its methods are concerted efforts to build bridges connecting the world of research with the world of civic action and policy debate so that each informs the other, while preserving the independence, quality and credibility of the academic enterprise.


Degrees of Freedom:
Expanding College Opportunities for Currently and
Formerly Incarcerated Californians

Degrees of Freedom
finds that California
has not been adequately providing effective college opportunities for criminal justice-involved
students, despite the fact that such access will help California build
safer and more economically viable communities. The study is a joint project of
the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School and the Chief
Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of

The 154-page report targets policymakers, potential students
and college administrators in California. It also provides a valuable blueprint
for other states seeking to build effective college pathways that will help
these underserved students become college graduates. Based on over 175
interviews, academic research and historical investigation, the report profiles
existing programs and identifies recommendations for critical growth and
sustainability. It highlights challenges and successful strategies, and sets
out a series of concrete recommendations to ensure that future programs are
sustainable, scalable and high-quality. It demonstrates how the state’s
existing structures can bring education and criminal justice together to
achieve mutual goals, including increasing college graduation rates, preparing students to meet
the demands of the labor market, and increasing the chances of reentry success.

Read the full report here.
Read the executive summary of the report here.

Read a fact sheet about the report here.
Read the press release about the report here.

Vision 21 Forum: A Data-Driven Approach to Victims Services

In February 2015, Warren Institute Legal Policy Associate Heather Warnken will present on the importance of researcher-practitioner partnerships for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).  The presentation will underscore the importance of a data-driven approach to policy decisions impacting victims of crime, and highlight contributions from four recent Warren Institute projects, including Untold Stories of California Crime Victims: Research and Recommendations on Repeat Victimization and Rebuilding Lives (April 2014).  This report, supported by a collaboration with Californians for Safety and Justice, uses quantitative and qualitative research to give voice to victims who have not been part of the dialogue, including victims of color who reside in California communities frequently impacted by crime.

Click here for the link to the event, and flier.


Local Control Funding Formula in California: How to Monitor Progress and Learn From This Grand Experiment

This brief sets out the central empirical questions arising from key moving parts in the Local Control Funding Formula in California (LCFF) implementation efforts. It details how eight districts are approaching the reform, and describes the program models on which those eight districts will rely in Year 1 of implementation. It also defines emerging goals for research and evaluation.  Most importantly, the paper outlines a tentative division of labor for multi-year monitoring of LCFF and Common Core implementation, including identification of promising practices at each level. This brief reflects feedback from participating researchers, as well as advocates and others. The brief is authored by Bruce Fuller, Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley and Fellow with Partners for Each and Every Child and  Laura Tobben, Student at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley.

For the brief, click here.

What Works In Community Policing? A Best Practices Context For Measure Y Efforts

In this Best Practices report, Sarah Lawrence and Bobby McCarthy provide a brief history of the Community Policing movement in the United States and provide examples of successful Community Policing initiatives implemented by a variety of police departments in cities across the country. This report looks at community policing in context nationwide as part of a broader effort to assist policymakers in the City of Oakland in their 10-year evaluation of the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004 (Measure Y). This is the first of three reports the Warren Institute produced in 2013-2014 as part of the Measure Y evaluation for the City of Oakland, in partnership with Resource Development Associates.

For the report, click here.

Crime Trends in the City of Oakland: A 25-Year Look (1987-2012)

In this quantitative crime trend analysis, Bobby McCarthy and Sarah Lawrence examine long-term crime trends in the City of Oakland over a 25-year period to provide context for how crime in the city has trended before and after the passage of Measure Y. This report presents aggregate crime data and crime rates, as well as the rates of the seven major violent and property crime types. Additionally, crime rates for the City of Oakland are compared to the State of California as well as four select comparison cities within the state to provide City officials with a context for how Oakland’s crime rate has tracked relative to state and regional trends over the last quarter-century.  This is the second of three reports the Warren Institute produced in 2013-2014 as part of the Measure Y evaluation for the City of Oakland, in partnership with Resource Development Associates.

For the report, click here.

Where and When Does Crime Happen in Oakland: A Temporal and Spatial Analysis (January 2008 – July 2013)

In this geo-spatial and temporal analysis on crime in Oakland, Bobby McCarthy and Sarah Lawrence examine how crime in Oakland is distributed by neighborhood, police district, season, day of week, and time of day over a 5 ½ year period ending July 2013. This report is intended to assist Oakland policymakers in making informed decisions about public safety investments and future community-policing initiatives in the city, and is the third of three reports the Warren Institute produced in 2013-2014 as part of the Measure Y evaluation for the City of Oakland in partnership with Resource Development Associates.

For the report, click here.

The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences

On November 19th, the National Academy of Sciences and the Warren Institute hosted a discussion on NAS’ recent report, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Featured speakers included report editor and Committee Chair Jeremy Travis and committee members Craig Haney and Michael Tonry.  The discussion was held at Berkeley Law.

To view the video recording of the event, click here.








The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles

When Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager, Warren Institute Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein began to investigate how Ferguson became the segregated black suburb it is today — where student performance is inadequate in the town’s segregated schools, where poverty rates are high, where half the homes have “underwater” mortgages, and where black men and youths are frequent subjects of police harassment, and worse. If you have comments or questions that you would like to put directly to Richard Rothstein, you can write to him here, at rrothstein@law.berkeley.edu.

For the report, click here.
For a shorter, article-length version, click here.
Webcast: Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Richard Rothstein, discuss how a century of purposeful federal, state, and local policy to segregate the St. Louis metropolitan area by race was at the root of the events in Ferguson. To watch, click here.

As California Goes, So Goes the Nation?

A new law that more strongly prohibits discrimination against pregnant graduate students could be coming to a state near you.  Mary Ann Mason, Faculty Co-Director, writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Advice Column.

For the the article, click here.

Renewing Communities: California Pathways from Corrections to College

In collaboration with the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and with funding from the Ford Foundation, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy is spearheading an initiative to expand post-secondary educational opportunities for people in the criminal justice system in California. The project involves identifying existing and promising service delivery models for jail- and prison-based education, as well as services within the community; researching best practices; analyzing the criminal justice and educational landscape for California; building support for and developing a demonstration pilot project for the State of California. For more information, click here.

The Changing Face of America: Immigration and the Politics of Reform

In partnership with the Graduate School of Journalism, the Warren Institute sponsored the 4th New York Times Institute on Immigration Reporting. The seminar focused on the impact of the growing Latino and Asian-American electorate on current immigration reform efforts in Congress. Participants received hands-on training in demographic analysis and working with Census data on voter registration and turnout.  They also heard up-to-the-minute assessments of legislation in play in Washington and the power dynamics behind it by expert presenters.

Please visit the Institute’s website here.

Why we still need affirmative action for African Americans in college admissions

New article by Richard Rothstein on affirmative action and colorblindness in the United States. Published in the Washington Post.

For article, click here.

Core of the Matter: Dismissive, Insulting, Deflecting

New blog post by Christopher Edley, Jr. on Common Core implementation.

For blog click here.

Brown v. Board at 60

New article by Richard Rothstein on how and why we have been so disappointed, and what we have learned.

For article click here.

Segregated Housing, Segregated Schools

New article by Richard Rothstein on how segregated housing policies further racial isolation in public schools.

For article click here.

How to Level the Playing Field for Women in Science

New essay by Mary Ann Mason on how the ‘baby penalty’ in academe could be eased with four key reforms. Published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

For essay click here.