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Justice Programs Office

Director's Welcome

Caroline Cooper

Welcome to the website of the Justice Programs Office of the School of Public Affairs at American University. We hope that you will delve into the wide range of resources we have posted and find them useful to you in whatever capacity you are accessing them – academic, researcher, justice system professional, practitioner, and/or interested citizen.

Since its founding over thirty years ago, the Justice Programs Office (JPO) has provided technical assistance, training, and program development services to justice systems throughout the United States and abroad. These services have been geared to applying the tools of scholarship, research and rigorous analysis to the development of public policy and the design, conduct and evaluation of public programs. The JPO’s projects address a wide range of policy and programmatic issues with particular focus on the administration of justice and the coordination of the many components that make up our justice “systems" and the delivery of justice and related services to the citizens they serve. Increasingly we have come to realize that the scope of coordination needed to deliver “justice” is widening, with many social, public health, educational, vocational and related services needing to be brought into the scope of what the delivery of justice services entails. Concurrent with these developments is the constant need to ensure that public programs operate in a manner that is transparent, accountable, and consistent with applicable ethical and professional standards.

The foundation for the JPO’s services is provided through a core interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and Senior Fellows, augmented by senior practitioner-experts from throughout the U.S. and abroad who serve in a consultant capacity. This cadre of experts, supplemented by American University faculty in the fields of law, public affairs, international service, economics, business administration, and the social and behavioral sciences, enable the JPO to assemble the multi-disciplinary expertise and perspectives that are essential for dealing with the challenges justice systems today are addressing, and the services citizens require.

We invite those who access our website to browse through its various components, and to take advantage of the rich resources incorporated in it. These include our outstanding Judicial Administration Research Archive (JARA) on which are posted thousands of primary research and related documents relating to policy and operational issues justice system agencies are addressing as well as numerous reference materials that provide a context for their operation.

Feel free to follow up with us by phone ((202) 885-2875) or email (

Caroline S. Cooper, Director


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