Focus Area: Racial and Economic Justice
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) is the nation's leading research institution, best known for its rigorous development of knowledge used to inform and influence the highest reaches the of policymaking. NAS is distinguished by its impartial research on critical matters of scientific, social and economic importance to the country. Building on its unparalleled legacy, NAS, particularly the scholars assembled on its Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ), is uniquely positioned to continue informing the nation’s policies and discourse on racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.
NAS’s project, “Exploring Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice in the Changing Context of the United States,” will form a multidisciplinary panel of researchers and practitioners to review and assess changes in racial and ethnic patterns of crime, criminal justice processing outcomes and perceptions of justice. The CLAJ will examine how these patterns are related to changing societal conditions and to implicit and explicit biases held by criminal justice system officials and the public. NAS’s proposed research on inequality in the racial patterning of crime, criminal justice, and perceptions of the sources of crime is timely in a period of significant national debate of these matters. The CLAJ promises to be a critical source of empirical information for shaping criminal justice policy decisions at the federal and state level, in strong alignment