UNC Citation Project Seeks to Improve Public Safety by Exploring Alternatives to Arrest

The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab (CJIL) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Government has announced a new $325,000 grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to launch The Citation Project, which aims to improve policing practices through rigorous evaluation of citation in lieu of arrest.

As the school explained in its announcement, policing decisions determine who enters the criminal justice system and who avoids it. Citations are an alternative to arrest for some low-level crimes and have been recommended by groups like the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing as a “least harm” resolution. The project will be led by Jessica Smith, W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC.

Charles Koch Foundation Executive Director Ryan Stowers said, “The Project’s research will help law enforcement develop best practices to improve public safety, increase trust between police and communities, and ensure that the criminal justice system offers alternatives to arrest that allow non-violent offenders a second chance.”

Read UNC’s full announcement here.

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