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Justice Programs Office

Mission & Services

The mission of the Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University is to apply the tools of scholarship, professionalism, and "best practices" to the design and management of public programs, with particular attention to policy development and the administration of justice at the local, state, and federal levels of government. To carry out this mission, the JPO engages in training, technical assistance and research programs, and provides information and publication dissemination services to government officials, NGOs, and the public at large.

All of the JPO's activities are designed to strengthen awareness of:

  • public accountability of government agencies and officials
  • the ethical responsibilities and standards of performance of government employees
  • the obligation of citizens for responsible critique and constructive reform of public institutions
  • the cultural and historical foundations of the role of courts and the judicial function in a democratic society

In carrying out its mission, the JPO - its faculty, staff, senior fellows, and consultants - are pledged to exemplify the values of competence, integrity, and objectivity as representatives of American University and of the agencies and organizations it serves.


The SPA Justice Programs Office has 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 is supplemented by American University faculty in the fields of law, public affairs, international service, economics, business administration, and the social and behavioral sciences. The Justice Programs Office has access to all the unique domestic and international information resources in the Washington, D.C. area and the on-campus and off-campus training, research, information, computer, telecommunications, and distance learning facilities of American University.


  • Multi-disciplinary approach to all undertakings
  • Promotion of interagency communication and coordination
  • Institutional independence and objectivity in problem analysis
  • Incorporation of the most qualified academic and practitioner expertise for each project
  • Extensive experience in and familiarity with state and local justice system operations
  • Emphasis on cost-effective, pragmatic solutions to problems


  • short- and long-term technical assistance to government and community agencies
  • development of collaborative, interagency justice system improvement programs
  • training and other professional development services
  • evaluation of public programs
  • on-site problem analysis/assessment
  • documentation of existing program policies, resources, and procedures
  • promotion of use/adaption of nationally/internationally accepted standard of performance and practice.


The Justice Programs Office maintains collaborative relationships with most U.S. based national organizations and associations representing the legal, law enforcement, corrections, prosecution, defense services, and judicial professions. All JPO projects are undertaken with reference to relevant ethical standards of performance and national standards relevant to best practices.

Justice Programs Office, School of Public Affairs
American University
Mailing: 4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Physical: 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20016-8159
Telephone: 202-885-2875 | Fax: 202-885-2885