Mission Statement

The Misdemeanor Justice Project seeks to understand the criminal justice response to lower-level offenses, from arrest to disposition. We strive to provide an empirical framework to data-driven policy initiatives at local, state, and national levels aimed at improving society’s response to these offenses. The Misdemeanor Justice Project is fully committed to working with criminal justice practitioners to obtain accurate data, provide objective analyses, and disseminate our findings to key stakeholders in the community, scholars, and policy-makers to spur a national discourse on the effectiveness and fairness of law enforcement and criminal justice responses to lower-level offenses.

The Misdemeanor Justice Project:

  • Builds a network of criminal justice researchers across the country focused on lower-level offenses;
  • Conducts and publishes rigorous, objective analyses documenting trends in the criminal justice response to lower-level offenses;
  • Communicates the results of these analyses to key policy stakeholders.

Guiding Principles:

Genuine Engagement with Stakeholders

The Misdemeanor Justice Project works closely with key stakeholders from several city and state agencies to ensure the reliability of our data and better understand our findings.

Easily Accessible Data

The Misdemeanor Justice Project provides easily accessible data to help better inform the public, encourage transparency, and promote further research building on our findings.

Commitment to Evidence Based Policy Reform

The Misdemeanor Justice Project is committed to providing an objective and empirical framework to better inform policymakers considering legal and policy reforms designed to improve responses to lower-level offenses.

Broad and Effective Dissemination of Findings

The Misdemeanor Justice Project is committed to effectively communicating our findings to multiple audiences including scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the public.