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Policing & Responding

Keeping communities safe and upholding the rule of law 

Law enforcement and the communities they serve want effective responses to crime and other problems. They want policing that promotes safety and trust. And they want alternative responses for behavioral and social problems—to safely connect people to services that address root causes of behavior,  while allowing law enforcement to focus on solving and preventing violent and serious crime. Our research and data help stakeholders explore and implement effective solutions.  

Read our research, explore our projects, and use our model tools—we’re here to help.

When they have the discretion to do so, NC officers use citations in lieu of arrests in 92% of misdemeanor incidents.
Black people make up 22.1% of the general population, but 37.4% of misdemeanors or warrantless arrests.
at least 1 in 4 people shot by police in the US suffers from mental illness.

Explore our Measuring Justice Dashboard to uncover patterns, evaluate your county, and drill down on specific areas.


Start out strong

The first step in any effort: understand the problem. Our legal and empirical research helps unpack the system’s complexities. Our work organizes data, pinpoints opportunities, and summarizes end results—because the more you know about an issue, the more effectively you can solve it.

The Role of Administrative Traffic Offenses in the North Carolina Criminal Justice System
Briefing Paper

Pilot projects

Find what’s working

Right now in North Carolina, we’re helping stakeholders—including law enforcement leaders, court officials, county leaders, and others—develop and implement effective reforms. Our work informs policy choices, helping stakeholders innovate solutions and evaluate outcomes. Explore these projects to see what’s possible.

Alternative Responder Programs


The Citation Project


Ready-to-Use Roadmaps

Get up and running

Our legal and evidence-based tools—forms, flowcharts, templates, implementation plans, and more—help you tailor your approach to your community. Whether you need a single court appearance tool or a comprehensive model bail policy, we have the roadmaps to support you.

Interested in a creating a policing and responding roadmap? Let's connect.

Explore the policing & responding toolbox

Find what you need—or discover new pathways—by drawing from our extensive collection of reports, projects, research, data dashboards, and much more.

“Expansion of the Lab is critical to the mission of improving the criminal justice system in North Carolina and the way that we manage justice-involved individuals at every level.”