Enforcing criminal laws to secure the rights of all inhabitants is perhaps the most fundamental function of a government. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system in the United States has become a conviction manufacturing machine divorced from the basic tenets of justice. The police often undermine the basic liberties they are supposed to protect and the courts process the vast majority of its cases through plea agreements that strip away the constitutional right to jury trial.

More on Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement


Closing Rikers Is Just One Step for Justice Reform in NYC

By Jonathan Blanks. New York Post. August 20, 2018.

A Prison-Reform Bill Passed the House 360–59. It’ll Probably Die in the Senate

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). June 6, 2018.

Beyond Mass Incarceration

By Jonathan Blanks. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. May 31, 2018.

Cato Studies

Police Patrols and Crime

By Jordi Blanes i Vidal and Giovanni Mastrobuoni. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 112. May 9, 2018.

The Effect of Unilateral Divorce on Prostitution: Evidence from Divorce Laws in U.S. States

By Ricardo Ciacci. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 111. May 2, 2018.

Street Prostitution Zones and Crime

By Stephen Kastoryano, Paul Bisschop, and Bas van der Klaauw. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 74. April 19, 2017.


Thin Blue Lies: How Pretextual Stops Undermine Police Legitimacy

Jonathan Blanks. Case Western Reserve Law Review. Vol. 66. No. 4. 2016.

Stopping Police Militarization: Reforming the 1033 Program

Trevor Burrus. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Don’t Retreat on “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Ilya Shapiro. America's First Freedom. January 2014.

Public Filings

Gamble v. United States

By Brianne Gorod, Ilya Shapiro, and Jay Schweikert. Legal Briefs. September 11, 2018.

Spencer v. Abbott

By Clark Neily and Jay Schweikert. Legal Briefs. June 25, 2018.

Gundy v. United States

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Reilly Stephens. Legal Briefs. May 24, 2018.


The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South

Featuring Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington, and Jonathan Blanks. March 15, 2018. Book Forum.

Qualified Immunity: The Supreme Court’s Unlawful Assault on Civil Rights and Police Accountability

Featuring Lynn S. Adelman, William Baude, Victor M. Glasberg, Andrew Pincus, & Clark Neily. March 1, 2018. Policy Forum.

Prosecutorial Fallibility and Accountability

Featuring Clark Neily, Rob Cary, Howard Root, & Michael J. Daugherty. November 7, 2017. Policy Forum.