The Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research supports American University faculty during various stages of their scholarly pursuits.
Preventing Wrongful Convictions Project
The Preventing Wrongful Convictions Project, funded by the National Institute of Justice, is a unique collaboration between academic researchers and criminal justice professionals, including representatives of the prosecutorial and defense communities. The goal of the project is to understand how the criminal justice system avoids wrongful convictions by comparing violent felony cases that ended in an official exoneration after conviction with those in which defendants had charges dismissed before trial or were acquitted on the basis of their factual innocence.
Food Insecurity and Obesity Among Children
With grants from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research and the Institute for Research on Poverty's RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research, Associate Professor Alison Jacknowitz and Assistant Professor Taryn Morrissey are studying food insecurity and obesity among young children. Specifically, they are examining the life events that lead to food insecurity, such as job loss or divorce, as well as the events that help lift children out of food insecurity. They will also look at how local food prices contribute to food insecurity and obesity among young children, and whether participation in food assistance programs changes these relationships. Their research will help create a more comprehensive picture of food insecurity and obesity among children in the U.S.
DC Bar Foundation Project
The Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research (WIPAR) is leading a project that seeks to analyze the economic impact of selected District of Columbia Bar Foundation (DCBF) Access to Justice Grant Awards from fiscal year 2010. The project, funded by the DCBF, brings together researchers from WIPAR and Justice Systems Innovation (JSI), an independent consulting firm specializing in access to justice research. The purpose of the evaluation is to examine the short- and long-term impact of grant monies provided to the Children's Law Center, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, and the Court Based Legal Services Programs of the Legal Aid Society and Bread for the City. Each of these programs seeks to improve or extend the availability of legal services to indigent District of Columbia residents.
Conceptualizing and Measuring Justice
The Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research at American University and the Center for Justice, Law and Society at George Mason University hosted a series of two workshops at the National Science Foundation to advance scholarship and forge connections on the twin issues of conceptualizing and measuring justice. Bringing together 30 scholars over the course of two workshops, these sessions permitted researchers from a variety of perspectives to share and learn from one another and to disseminate the lessons to a variety of disciplines while also helping to cultivate a new generation of scholars.