• Training at the Intersection of Social Work and Criminal Justice

    Applications are now open for recent and upcoming MSW graduates to join our team as Post-Master's Fellows, engaging in experiential learning opportunities with criminal-justice involved populations.

    Learn more
  • The Institute for Justice Research and Development

    Critically focused on getting to what works, discovering the "why" and "how" in ways that seek opportunities to safely and quickly apply solutions to communities, and accomplishing our mission without compromising research rigor and integrity.

  • Focusing on Well-Being to Change Lives and Increase Public Safety

    The Institute for Justice Research and Development seeks to re-orient the field of criminal justice to focus on the value and worth of the individual.

  • Integrating Criminal Justice Research into the Classroom

    Our faculty infuse their academic courses with criminal justice content to help train the next generation of workers to facilitate Smart Decarceration.

  • Safe Streets and Second Chances

    Our researchers are currently conducting a multi-state, multi-site trial to test the effectiveness of the innovative 5-Key Model for Reentry in 50 prisons across the nation.

    Learn more

IJRD Home Page

title-inside title-centered

Our Mission

Our mission at the Institute for Justice Research and Development is to advance science, policy, and practice to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities impacted by criminal justice system involvement.

The movement from mass incarceration toward smart decarceration has the potential to produce effective, sustainable, and equitable criminal justice reforms. 

The Institute for Justice Research and Development was created to maximize the potential for change. 

We work to achieve three goals:

Develop individual and community well-being

Promote racial and economic equality

Change conventional criminal justice outcomes

We form teams of researchers, private and public sector professionals, students, and people with histories of criminal justice involvement to maximize solution finding.

We conduct rigorous research in real world settings in collaboration with government, business, academic,and nonprofit partners.

We build on a foundation of nearly two decades of faculty research and apply scientific discovery to technological advances that have yet to be fully pursued in criminal justice related policy or practice.

We prioritize rapid dissemination of research findings to the advocates, professionals, and policymakers who can adopt them rather than limiting the communication of our findings to academic audiences.


5Key quarterly report

This report describes the inner workings and early discoveries of participants and researchers in a groundbreaking longitudinal study currently occurring in four states, 50 prisons, 12 urban and rural counties with more than 1800 people enrolled…

Promoting Reentry Well-Being: A Novel Assessment Tool for Individualized Service Assignment in Prisoner Reentry Programs

The Reentry Well-Being Assessment Tool (RWAT) is an innovative practice tool to systematically guide individualized assignment into reentry program services based on a participant’s changing needs during the transition from prison to the…