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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Proactive Policing - Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties in the United States
Project Description

The term “proactive policing" encompasses the universe of policing strategies that are explicitly intended to prevent or reduce crime, as opposed to reacting to criminal events after they have occurred. Proactive policing may focus on places (e.g. hot spots policing), on people (e.g., gang members, high risk parolee/probationers) or community disorder, (e.g. broken windows policing). It may also include problem-solving policing, for example cooperation with non-police actors such as agents of the regulatory or social service agencies. Stop, question, and frisk (SQF) is another example of proactive policing. Even if the evidence were clear regarding the effectiveness of SQF at reducing crime, the controversy surrounding SQF, at least as it was practiced in New York City, makes clear that proactive policing methods must be evaluated on more dimensions than their impacts on crime and disorder.

The purpose of the “Committee on Proactive Policing – Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties” is to review the evidence on the effects of different forms of proactive policing on:

Crime and disorder - What is known about the impact of different forms of proactive policing on crime and disorder? Are effects persistent or do they dissipate when the intervention ends? What is known about the degree to which the crime and disorder are displaced rather than prevented altogether?
Discriminatory application - For proactive policing tactics such as SQF that involve direct contacts with citizens, what are the characteristics of individuals who are contacted? Is there evidence of discriminatory practices in the selection of the types of people and places that are targeted? Relatedly, are proactive policing methods being used in high crime locations?
Legality – What is the evidence on whether proactive policing methods are being used in a legal fashion? 
Community Reaction and Receptiveness - What is known about community reaction to various forms of proactive policing? Are perceptions of police legitimacy enhanced or harmed? Is willingness to report crimes and cooperate with police investigations improved or hurt?
Sponsors: National Institute of Justice, Laura and John Arnold Foundation


June 27-28, 2016 —
Closed Committee Meeting 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC

June 24, 2016 — Webinar
: Community Perspectives on Proactive Policing - Black Lives Matter (Part 2)
3:00 - 4:30 pm (EST) — More Information

June 22, 2016 —
Webinar: Community Perspectives on Proactive Policing - Black Lives Matter (Part 1)
1:00 - 2:00 pm (EST) — More Information

April 4-5, 2016 —
500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC — Open Session Agenda

February 3-4, 2016 —
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 125, Washington, DC — Open Session Agenda

November 12-13, 2015
Open Session Agenda 


David Weisburd (Chair), George Mason University
Hassan Aden, The Aden Group
Anthony Braga, Northeastern University
Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation, Washington, DC
Philip J. Cook, Duke University
Phillip Goff, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Rachel A. Harmon, University of Virginia Law School
Amelia Haviland, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
Cynthia Lum, George Mason University
Charles Manski, Northwestern University
Stephen Mastrofski, George Mason University
Tracey Meares, Yale Law School
Daniel Nagin, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
Emily Owens, University of California-Irvine
Steven Raphael, University of California-Berkeley
Jerry Ratcliffe, Temple University
Tom Tyler, Yale Law School


Malay Majmundar, Study Director
Emily Backes, Research Associate
Leticia Garcilazo Green, Program Assistant

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