Scientific Research

CPE’s teams of social scientists, data scientists, analysts, and technologists work in close collaboration with our community engagement, policy, and public safety teams to expand the knowledge base on racial equity in public safety. Together, we generate new scientific insights grounded in lived experience that serve communities working towards justice.

Our scientific work has two complementary aims: to document harms in existing public safety systems so that they can be reduced, and to deepen the evidence base for public safety redesign to chart a path towards bolder change. We strive to ensure that our on-the-ground technical assistance work is rooted in robust scientific insights, and our research process informed and shaped by what we learn from community members, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

This work is conducted at CPE in collaboration with the CPE lab at Yale University.

Peer-Reviewed Research and Evaluation

Drawing on analytic tools from a range of fields including social psychology, sociology, demography, ethnography, political science, economics, data science, statistics, and public health, our interdisciplinary teams collaborate with leading scholars in academia and at nonprofits to produce peer-reviewed science and insights that are easily generalized beyond a single community. We utilize law enforcement's own administrative records alongside resident and officer surveys and other data sources, engage in research and data partnerships to measure the social costs and benefits of policing and other public safety strategies, and document and help reduce inequity in public safety.

Our focal research areas include:

  • Policing, community health, and economic well-being
  • Understanding and reducing police use-of-force
  • Advancing the science of public safety redesign, including research into and evaluation of the social determinants of community safety and health.

Applied Research and Technical Assistance

Partnering with local communities, we develop public-facing reports and recommendations that facilitate local efforts to improve public safety systems and redesign public safety approaches:

  • Our Justice Navigator partners CPE with participating police departments to analyze departmental data and other information, such as crime data. Results are then delivered back in a Justice Navigator Assessment that is accessible to the public through our Justice Navigator web tool.
  • COMPSTAT for Justice (C4J) provides longer-term, strategic partnerships with participating cities in a data-driven process that directly empowers law enforcement and communities to identify policing inequities and risk factors for systematic biases, facilitating meaningful change in public safety systems. Over the course of three to five years, CPE collaborates with police and the community they serve to develop recommendations, strategies, and ongoing monitoring, to ensure that law enforcement partners are aware of successes and held accountable for gaps in progress.
  • CPE's specialized team working on place-based partnerships offers communities and law enforcement rapid advising, technical, and data assistance in response to fast-moving events, as well as strategic partnerships that offer actionable recommendations or strategies for immediate implementation.

Sample research products and collaborations: