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Criminal Justice


Wednesday, September 29, 2021
New research conducted by SPARQ Co-Director Jennifer Eberhardt and colleagues have uncovered racial disparities in family conversations in the home following George Floyd's death and the tone of voice used in police traffic stops on the street.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Strategies for Change

In "Strategies for Change," we present the methods and findings of five research initiatives that examined race relations between the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland Community. We also present 50 evidence-based actions that agencies can take to change department cultures and strengthen police-community ties...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Data for Change
In this technical report, we present SPARQ's independent, detailed, and rigorous assessment of 13 months of the Oakland Police Department's stop data. Our analyses reveal that OPD officers disproportionately stop, search, handcuff, and arrest African Americans, relative to other racial groups. At the same time, we found little evidence that disparate treatment arose from explicit racism or purposeful discrimination. Instead, our research suggests...
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Principled Policing Report
The relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve must be grounded in trust in order to ensure safety and protection for all. Recent events in California and across the nation have strained this relationship. As part of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’ ongoing commitment to identify strategies to strengthen trust between law enforcement and communities, the Department of Justice offered California law enforcement executives a course...
Monday, November 10, 2014
oakland police badge

In the wake of Ferguson and other high-profile cases, police departments all over the nation are struggling to improve their relationships with the communities they serve. Applying basic social psychological theory, SPARQ is partnering with the Oakland Police Department to research, develop, and implement better policing techniques.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
A Middle Eastern boy making a peace sign
Intractable intergroup conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, represent the greatest threats we face as a species. These conflicts are inherently psychological, but social psychologists have only recently begun applying their methods to analyze and perhaps help heal these conflicts. In this Special Project, SPARQ Faculty Affiliates Carol Dweck and James Gross are collaborating with Eran Halperin of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel...


Teacher sitting in front of classroom full of students


School suspensions set students up to enter the school-to-prison pipeline, leading to unemployment and incarceration later in life (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology).


Taking an empathetic, rather than punitive, approach to classroom discipline reduces suspensions and improves student-teacher relationships. 

Black man's hands up, in left hand "don't" is written, in right "shoot"


Although Black men make up only 6% of the U.S. population, they are the victims of 40% of unarmed fatal police shootings.


Training people not to rely on Black stereotypes can save lives...

Cartoon of a racially diverse jury


Racial disparities in the justice system disproportionately affect Blacks.


Juries make better decisions when they’re racially diverse.

Teen sitting in hallway with head down


Rejection by peers leads teens to act aggressively and feel down.


Teaching teens that everyone has the capacity to change decreases aggression and symptoms of depression following peer exclusion. If people can change, so too can social labels like “bully” and “loser"...