Claremont Graduate University to Expand Computational Justice Lab

Claremont Graduate University’s Computational Justice Lab, which uses data and social sciences to assist and inform efforts to reform the criminal justice system, will expand its data science efforts and grow the number of faculty, graduate students, and post-docs whose research leads to real-world applications and policy change.

The lab creates a fusion among social science research, legal research, and computer science to advance criminal justice reform by identifying the impact of policies, incentives, and actions on public safety and generating alternative solutions to effectively deal with those situations. The lab was founded last year by Greg DeAngelo, an Associate Professor of Economics in the Division of Politics & Economics, upon his arrival at Claremont.

DeAngelo says that the lab, through several current partnerships with government agencies, is already using data science tools to assist local prosecutors’ offices in understanding the outcomes of criminal cases and the impact of judicial and prosecutorial actions. Students serving as lab researchers gain first-hand experience in developing synergies between the production of research and the ability to use that research to inform and assist criminal justice practitioners.

With support from the Charles Koch Foundation, DeAngelo expects the lab to be able to contribute not only at the local level but on a greater national stage where conversations are taking place about policy reform and the criminal justice system. He says that data science is critical to informing these conversations about reform. “There is a difference between the way that laws are written and how they’re applied, and that’s where the Computational Justice Lab can help,” DeAngelo explained. “We are developing various data methodologies that address that difference and ideally will lead to more effective responses to the needs of the criminal justice system.”

“We’re proud to support scholars whose discoveries can benefit millions of people who interact with the criminal justice system,” said Ryan Stowers, executive director of the Charles Koch Foundation. “The Claremont team’s interdisciplinary research has the potential to uphold public safety and create a more constructive experience for the accused.”

Learn more about the announcement here, and read the grant agreement here.

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