Police lineup Illustration

A central goal of the Duke Center for Science and Justice is to convey the results of research to stakeholders in the criminal justice system. Examples of this work include:

Accuracy

Building on Professor Brandon Garrett’s studies of the causes of wrongful convictions in cases of people exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing, Duke researchers are studying how to better explain to jurors the fallibility of evidence such as eyewitness memory and fingerprint comparisons.

Risk

Duke researchers are studying why judges often do not follow recommendations of risk assessments to divert offenders from prison to the community, and why more resources may be needed to promote alternatives to incarceration. Researchers are collaborating with the Durham County District Attorney’s Office to implement and study alternatives to pre-trial detention and to incarceration.

Needs

A report released by Garrett and his team documented how more than 1.2 million people in North Carolina have suspended driver’s licenses, the long-term consequences of those suspensions, and the resulting racial and class-based disparities. The study was made possible through a collaboration with the N.C. Justice Center and the N.C. Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission.