U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


aak78/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).

The National Institute of Justice sponsors criminal court research and court-based program evaluation to identify tools, programs and policies that satisfy criminal justice goals including: public safety, cost-efficiency and fair and equitable treatment of victims and defendants. Our work focuses on four major areas:

  • Court operations and case management — methods for criminal justice administration applicable to diversion, pretrial, and other stages of criminal case processing.
  • Specialized or problem-solving courts — court-based interventions for  persons who come into contact with the criminal justice system, and communities that address substance abuse, mental health, and other criminogenic needs.
  • Adjudication and sentencing — criminal case procedures for judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and juries from arraignment through trial and sentencing.
  • Forensics and technology — forensic and other scientific technologies that support criminal case processing through information sharing, evidence testing and management, and other investigative and trial functions.

On this page, find links to articles, awards, events, publications, and multimedia related to courts. 

Beyond NIJ...

Find Programs and Practices related to Courts

The first step in knowing what to do is knowing what works … and what hasn’t.