Research for Reform offers students an opportunity to work collaboratively on research to generate reform in criminal and civil legal systems.

Currently we are at work on projects focused on reducing solitary confinement, providing access to voting for those in detention, repealing carceral lien laws, reforming parole systems, and working with Freedom Reads to provide books for people in detention. Most projects address problems both locally and nationally.

Instructors meet weekly with project students, who work collaboratively in groups. Students read each other’s drafts and all drafts of memos, data analysis, letters, reports, and other project works are reviewed by at least one other student who was not the original drafter. Depending on the kind of information and its sources, students independently assess materials, such as the number of people who have voted while in detention or the number of people in solitary. This process fosters attention to detail, ensuring accuracy, care in research and in making arguments based on it, identifying paths for new work and reform, and contributing new insights and empirical information to shape reform agendas. Facets of this work require respecting the confidentiality of communications.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Liman Director Jennifer Taylor.