July 23, 2022

Mental Health Disparities in Solitary Confinement

Harsh prison conditions have been widely examined for their effects on the mental health of incarcerated people, but few studies have examined whether mental health status exposes individuals to harsh treatment in the penal system. 



February 01, 2022

Emerging Adult Justice Project Submitted a Report Supporting Reforming and Expanding Colorado’s “Youth Offender System” to Include All Emerging Adults

NEW YORK, NY – The Columbia Justice Lab’s Emerging Adult Justice Project (EAJP), with the support of the Colorado Department of Corrections, submitted a Report on February 1, 2022 to Colorado’s House and Senate Judiciary Committees making research-based recommendations to transform the state’s Youth Offender System (YOS). The report explains the impact of including young people up to age 25 who commit felony offenses in the YOS and how that expansion should be implemented.

January 31, 2022

Philadelphia District Attorney's Office Announces Launch of Historic Emerging Adult Unit

NEW YORK, NY – On January 31, 2022 Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that his office will turn its Emerging Adult Initiative, which began operating in October 2020, into a permanent unit. Specially assigned prosecutors, paralegals, and a Victim Witness Coordinator will work together to review misdemeanor and certain felony cases involving 18-25-year-olds (to the 26th birthday), to determine their eligibility for prosecution tailored to their distinct developmental stage.


July 27, 2022

Defeating harmful narratives: Setting the record straight about crime and sharing solutions for community safety

Communities across the country are combating reactionary policy proposals aimed at increasing youth incarceration. These proposals are based on misleading rhetoric that frames crime as being “out of control,” without clearly articulating what the data really show.

On June 14, 2022, Columbia Justice Lab hosted a webinar exploring the facts about recent trends in crime and how communities are creating safety without relying on harmful carceral responses. The webinar contextualized recent trends and offered history, data, and real-world insights to counter regressive narratives.

May 19, 2022

Pros and Cons of Receiverships as a Catalyst for Institutional Reform

On May 19, the Columbia Justice Lab co-sponsored an important virtual forum on Fixing Rikers Island: A Federal Receivership? The federal monitor overseeing Rikers Island recently concluded that city jails are “trapped in a state of persistent dysfunctionality” with “imminent risk of harm to incarcerated individuals and staff.” This has led numerous knowledgeable city leaders to