Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Law, Crime, and Justice

What factors affect whether a parolee stays out of prison or reoffends? What does research reveal about what makes policing effective in communities? What advances in behavioral science and neuroscience could help us better understand and reduce juvenile crime? We review and synthesize scientific research to help answer questions such as these, and produce reports that can aid policymakers in shaping policies and programs on crime deterrence, law enforcement, criminal justice, and terrorism. See also:

Related Reports
Sexual Exploitation cover Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States (CLAJ, BOCYF, IOM)

This report is a comprehensive examination and synthesis of current research on commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States.
Health and Incarceration Health and Incarceration: A Workshop Summary (CLAJ, BSP)

Incarceration rates in the United States have risen dramatically in recent decades. The increasing numbers entering and exiting U.S. prisons and jails raise questions about the adequacy of healthcare available for them, particularly given the prevalence of drug and alcohol addictions, chronic diseases, and mental illness in the incarcerated population.
Gun Violence cover web Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence (CLAJ, IOM)

In 2010, more than 105,000 people were injured of killed in the United States as the result of a firearm-related incident. This report presents a potential research agenda that focuses on the causes of, possible interventions to, and strategies to minimize the burden of firearm-related violence.
Juvenile Justice cover web 

Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach (CLAJ)

The report concludes that changes are needed if the juvenile justice system is to meet its aims of holding adolescents accountable, preventing reoffending, and treating them fairly.  Read more


Deterrence and the Death Penalty (CLAJ)



The report does not consider these issues, nor does it render an overall judgement on whether capital punishment is good public policy. It only assess the scientific quality of the evidence on whether capital punishment deters homicides and recommends ways to improve the quality of future research.

The report concludes that research to date is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates.  Read more



Budgeting for Immigration EnforcementA Path to Better Performance  (CLAJ)

Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread... Read more

Home ABOUT DBASSE Mission Advisory Committee Hauser Policy Impact Fund DBASSE Staff DBASSE Brochure Visiting our Buildings News & Events Upcoming Events Social and Behavioral Sciences in Action Henry and Bryna David Lecture Our Work Current Projects Roundtable on the Communication and
Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Forum on Promoting Children's
Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health
Other Roundtables and Forums Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences Board on Children, Youth, and Families Board on Environmental Change and Society Board on Human-Systems Integration Board on Science Education Board on Testing and Assessment Committee on Law and Justice Committee on National Statistics Committee on Population Teacher Advisory Council Publications DBASSE Reports DBASSE Brochure Video Archive Newsletter Archive Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors
left imagetext captioncenter image