Launched in 2019, the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) is an invitational membership organization and think tank that serves as a center of gravity and incubator of policy and leadership for the criminal justice field. Its mission is to advance understanding of the criminal justice policy choices facing the nation and build consensus for solutions that enhance safety and justice for all. CCJ’s emergence reflects broad agreement across the ideological spectrum that the nation’s justice system is deeply flawed and requires equally deep reform. A quarter-century ago, crime was one of the most divisive issues in politics; today, people in Washington and in capitals of red and blue states alike are uniting behind solutions based on facts and evidence. That consensus and commitment to data-driven policymaking is the lifeblood of the Council, and it is embodied by the accomplished and diverse group of leaders and innovators who comprise its members, Directors and Trustees. Through research, task forces, convenings, and special projects, CCJ accelerates momentum for criminal justice reform and drives smart policymaking by generating achievable solutions that are factual, not just fashionable. The Council’s first projects include an ongoing series of papers analyzing the legacy and lessons of the 1994 Crime Bill, which was and remains the most far-reaching and controversial criminal justice legislation in the nation’s history. Also in its first year, CCJ produced a report documenting recent, surprising trends in racial disparities across correctional populations, marking a significant advance in the data and analysis surrounding this critical issue.

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