The Center's research programs examine the interaction of individuals and communities with law and legal institutions, and demonstrate the impacts of criminal justice policy on communities and individuals. Through intensive exploration and analyses of communities, the Center provides facts and knowledge to help both communities and legal institutions to respond more effectively to the challenges facing them now and in the future. Our research applies several analytic tools-econometric analyses, case studies, ethnography, and sociological inquiry-to understand the causes, consequences, and control of contemporary crime problems. The Center's research program also applies empirical and other analytic methods to examine constitutional jurisprudence in criminal law.
Legal Socialization of Children and Adolescents: Research on children and the law has recently renewed its focus on the development of childrens' ties to law and legal actors. The study identifies the developmental process through which these relations develop as legal socialization, a process that unfolds during childhood and adolescence as part of a vector of developmental capital that promotes compliance with the law and cooperation with legal actors. Click here to learn more.
The Boundaries of the Juvenile Court: This study assesses whether prosecuting and sentencing adolescent felony offenders in the criminal court leads to harsher punishment, and whether that harsher punishment translates into improved public safety. Trends in prosecution, sentencing and recidivism are compared for youths charged with felony offenses in juvenile versus adult court. Click here to learn more.