National Justice Database


Join the National Justice Database

Creating a national justice database wasn’t our idea.

In fact, it was a major city police chief who actually suggested that such a database be created to help law enforcement professionals, officers, supporters, changemakers, and others better understand how to best serve and protect.

From that idea, offered more as a question of possibility than a declaration of intention, our organization expanded its services and began developing the National Justice Database.

Powerful National Database

The Justice Database is the nation’s first database tracking national statistics on police behavior, including stops and use of force, and will standardize data collection across many of the country’s police departments. Led by four principal investigators—Amanda Geller, Jack Glaser, Phillip Atiba Goff, Steven Raphael—more than 40 national police departments and law enforcement agencies have signed on to participate so far. These law enforcement agencies include more than half of all major cities, and service more than 25% of the nation’s population. In short, it’s powerful data!

The database is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation as well as grants from a number of private organizations.

Combining Many Academic Disciplines

Focusing on what causes racial disparities in policing and how one can measure these disparities, the Justice Database uses tools taken from sociology, demography, public policy, criminology, psychology, and behavioral economics. This project capitalizes on existing research collaborations between the Center for Policing Equity and law enforcement departments across the United States to produce a mixed-methods approach to understanding what produces racial inequality in complex systems (i.e., policing).

The database, established in response to calls from law enforcement executives for such a database, is already underway with data collection and analyses expected to continue through August 31, 2016.

Former Salt Lake City Policy Chief Chris Burbank serves as CPE’s Director of Law Enforcement Engagement for the Justice Database.  Last year, retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. John Farrell joined CPE to spearhead this effort. He has met with over 20 agencies that formalized their partnership with CPE and their participation in the database.