From Research. To Policy. To Practice. To People.


We advance a people-focused justice system through a collaborative approach that is grounded in research and innovation because everyone deserves equality and justice. 


We partner with justice and community stakeholders. We conduct and apply rigorous research to develop fair and equitable policies and practices. We lead systemic and cultural change to break the cycle of criminal justice involvement, enhance public safety, and improve outcomes, recognizing the dignity of individuals, families, and communities.

About JPO

The Justice Programs Office, a center in the School of Public Affairs at American University, works with the justice community to improve justice policies and practices. 

JPO is dedicated to a fair and equitable justice system for all. We support justice reform, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, problem-solving courts, and holistic interventions to help those who have been impacted by the criminal and civil legal systems. Our programs address systemic challenges related to policy, program effectiveness, communications, and operations. 

We use translational research, innovative solutions, and collaboration to advance a fairer, more effective, and equitable justice system. Our work includes the development and provision of evidence-based practices, program evaluation, training and technical assistance, and capacity-building.   

JPO engages with academics, justice system practitioners and experts, public policy experts, nonprofit organizations, government policymakers, communities, and returning citizens. We work to improve outcomes for individuals, find solutions to break the cycle of justice involvement, and to restore a sense of dignity to individuals, families, and communities.

  • Equity: dedicated to a fair and equitable system for all   

  • Innovative: believe in leading systemic and cultural change  

  • Analytical: researched focused and data driven  

  • Collaborative: people and community focused  

  • Research and Program Evaluation  

  • Evidenced-based Practice   

  • Training and Technical Assistance   

  • Capacity-building   

  • Thought Leadership  

  • Strategic Communications 

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