NORC Launches Center on Public Safety & Justice

CHICAGO, December 1, 2022 – At a time when policymakers and governments need trustworthy data to help them make sound policy decisions on public safety, NORC at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the launch of the Center on Public Safety & Justice. The Center integrates a multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts and thought leaders with deep expertise in criminology, demography, economics, and public health, and NORC’s industry-leading survey data collection capacity.

“At this challenging time when the societal fabric has frayed, weaving these diverse threads together allows us to more deftly develop actionable, evidence-based solutions to crime and victimization, and to help make the world a safer and more equitable place,” said NORC president and CEO Dan Gaylin. “The new Center on Public Safety & Justice will fill the need for responsible, non-partisan data collection and rigorous, transparent analysis and evaluation in this area.”

The new Center will be led by John K. Roman, PhD, a senior fellow in NORC’s Economics, Justice & Society department. Roman is an award-winning criminal justice researcher. His work on behalf of NORC and numerous federal agencies, state and local governments, and foundations has focused on evaluations of innovative crime-control policies and justice programs, the economics of crime in juvenile and adult justice systems, capital punishment, and wrongful conviction. He has also studied forensics, impact investing, bullying, and justice system interactions with substance abuse, adolescent development, workforce development, and education, as well as cost-benefit methodology and public-private partnerships. 

“Our mission—to provide unbiased insights that empower decision-makers to render criminal justice systems fairer and more effective, and to inform community-level responses beyond policing and incarceration—remains unchanged,” said Roman. “What has changed is that putting our various capabilities under one roof will make it easier for us to collaborate and amplify our work, and for clients and others to draw upon our research and services in order to change and save lives.”

Roman and the Center’s other thought leaders will continue conducting impactful studies on some of this era’s most critical issues, including gun violence, human trafficking, police use of force, and violence interruption. This research begins with longstanding personal partnerships in the communities hardest hit by crime and violence. NORC’s holistic approach to program and policy analysis goes beyond the typical scope of justice system evaluations by including lessons learned from community organizations, human services, and neighborhood residents. By working with stakeholders from shelters to police squads, researchers can identify programming innovations at every societal level. 

The Center’s services will include data collection (including trauma-informed data collection) and harmonization, knowledge dissemination, mixed-methods evaluation, policy analysis, program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research, stakeholder training, and survey design and implementation.


About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.

Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at, (301) 634-9536, or (703) 217-6814 (cell).