A B O U T

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Mission 

      The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute is an independent nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization working to develop and promote a reimagined criminal justice system that is equitable and fair for all. The Institute employs a data-driven approach focused on the criminal justice processes of the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. ​

Methodology

The Institute employs a three-step approach to study and reform:

     

     Research - Utilizing the abundant academic resources of the Lehigh Valley, the Institute provides a solid empirical, data driven approach to assessing the current deficiencies and inequities inherent in local criminal justice processes; 

     

     Policy Development -  Building upon solid data analysis and modeling, research of innovative and best practices nationwide, the Institute develops policy and procedural recommendations for the management of the local governmental systems; and

     

     Advocacy - The Institute promotes the adoption of its recommended policies and procedures through interaction with stakeholders, public education and engagement, the news media, and, where necessary, advocating through public education for legislation at the state level, as well as partnering in targeted litigation. 

The Institute's

Data Driven Approach

To address many of these issues the Institute makes extensive use of data from public agencies obtainable in electronic format though carefully crafted Right to Know requests. Demographic data not available from agency records, such as estimated income of an individual, may be imputed using census data. 

With Individual Stories

While a good base of data is a prerequisite to making the case for a change in policy, statistics can be antiseptic and mind-numbing. The Institute brings such hard data to life by allowing the public to hear the stories of individuals and communities affected by the criminal justice system. By placing a face upon the statistics we create the energy for change.