Safety & Justice

In the legal system, the smallest of mistakes—such as accidentally missing court or inability to pay a fine—can have outsized impacts on people’s freedom, livelihoods, and well-being. This is especially true for those most experiencing poverty, systemic racism, and/or violence.

Our Safety & Justice team uses rigorous research and inventive behavioral design to improve outcomes (and prevent negative outcomes) in the legal system. We work directly with courts, police, probation and parole, district attorneys and public defenders, community organizations, and mayors’ offices to bring about positive change. This is done in partnership with communities, civil rights groups, action networks, and other researchers.

Reforms are desperately needed, and their success ultimately depends on people changing prevailing, often deep-seated patterns of behavior. By enabling better decisions, we aim to reduce the harms of our current system in the U.S. while helping to build a more fair, dignified, and equitable one.

Explore our project work improving outcomes in the legal system:

Selected Partnerships

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Our Other Areas of Focus