Justice Center

Justice Center

The Council of State Governments


A society that upholds justice, offers second chances, and ensures safe and healthy communities.


We develop research-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities.


We are committed to:
• Being independent and nonpartisan in every aspect of our work;
• Providing rigorous, trusted, high-quality analysis;
• Developing practical and innovative solutions informed by data and research;
• Promoting collaboration and building consensus; and
• Being inclusive and respectful of diverse views and experiences.

Who We Are and How We Work

We combine the power of a membership association, representing state officials in all three branches of government, with the expertise of a policy and research team focused on assisting others to attain measurable results.

We bring people together.

With our singular ability to reach federal, state, and local leaders from all three branches of government, we gather people from both sides of the aisle and across the country to foster collaboration.

We drive the criminal justice field forward with original research.

Our in-depth data analyses, coupled with extensive interviews of people on the front lines of the criminal justice system, inform improvements and spur national initiatives.

We build momentum for policy change.

We synthesize and contextualize data to help policymakers enact and implement major reforms that address criminal justice
challenges, many of which intersect with other systems, such as health, education, and housing.

We provide expert assistance.

Our on-the-ground training and assistance helps state and local agencies and organizations translate the latest research into policy and practice.