About the Center

Welcome to the Criminal Justice Research Center at Penn State! The CJRC is an outward-facing center within the College of the Liberal Arts that bridges the gap between research and criminal justice practice by fostering a rigorous research agenda and transferring knowledge directly to criminal justice practitioners and policymakers. CJRC-sponsored research diagnoses and offers solutions for the most pressing criminal justice issues, including racial disparities in sentencing, the stigma of opioid use, immigration enforcement, prison health inequities, school gun violence, and illicit drug supply.

The CJRC supports research at all levels within the University – undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and faculty – and reaches across multiple units at University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses, helping to fulfill the “One Penn State 2025” vision set forth by President Barron.

Moreover, CJRC staff and affiliates collaborate directly with local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies and community partners to inform evidence-based policies in four key areas of expertise: (1) Courts and Sentencing, (2) Corrections and Re-Entry, (3) Treatment and Rehabilitation, and (4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention. We welcome new seed grant proposals every fall in these areas. Examples of previously funded proposals and the request for proposals can be found elsewhere on our website.

Beyond its rich research portfolio, the CJRC works with the Career Enrichment Network to engage undergraduates across the college through an expanding set of internship, research, and employment opportunities. In sum, the CJRC meaningfully contributes to all aspects of the University’s missions of research, education, and outreach, while simultaneously pursuing a strong vision for future sustainability, growth, and investment.

As always, we are interested in supporting, connecting, and promoting criminal justice researchers across Penn State. Our affiliates are nationally recognized for scholarly excellence and we will continue this tradition into the coming years. Contact us if you’d like to participate in this growing community or wish to join our distribution list.

Derek Kreager Headshot

Derek Kreager

The Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) is based out of the College of the Liberal Arts, and is linked to the Department of Sociology Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University. The CJRC brings research evidence to local, state, federal, and international criminal justice communities to improve policy and practice.

Mailing Address:

The Criminal Justice Research Center
Penn State University
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16823

Phone: (814) 867-3292
Fax: (814) 863-2059