Giving Voice to People in the Criminal Justice System
An important part of learning how the criminal justice system works is learning how it works (or does not work) from the people most affected by it. Most of our projects include interviews with people who are on probation or parole or who are serving time in prison. The perspectives of people working in and affected by the criminal justice system often result in the most impactful policy recommendations.
Developing Unique Policy Solutions
Robina does not approach issues with pre-determined solutions. Instead, we take time to learn about how the criminal justice system works in each jurisdiction and develop unique policy solutions that can achieve meaningful change within the context of each system.
Shining a Light on Previously Unexplored Areas
Much of Robina’s work involves research in areas that were previously taken for granted, such as how each state counts criminal history in its sentencing guidelines or the differing parole releasing policies and practices in each state. Our works brings to light the laws, policies, and practices governing these previously unexplored areas, and provides comparative analysis to better understand the impact of different policy choices on outcomes such as the size and composition of prison populations.
Connecting Research to Practice
Our goal with every research project is to engage in meaningful research to affect policy and practice. We do not do research for research’s sake. Instead, we strive to distribute our work broadly, make the findings understandable so they can be used in practice, and engage practitioners and policymakers in dialogue about the implications of our research for building evidence-based criminal justice policies and practices.
What We Do
The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice is a research institute within the University of Minnesota Law School. We perform interdisciplinary research, bringing legal and social science research together with policy analysis and practice to develop policy-focused solutions to issues within the field of criminal justice.
Research and Evaluation
The Robina Institute conducts qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research, including legal research and policy analysis, from conceptualization to dissemination. We pride ourselves on conducting systematic, rigorous analysis and translating our findings for a broad audience. Our work engages agency and community stakeholders at all stages of the research process.
Policy Development and Analysis
The Robina Institute connects research to practice by recommending policy and practice changes that are both evidence-based and realistic. We offer no cookie-cutter solutions. Our policy implications are based on a thorough understanding of the research and how laws, regulations, and administrative decisions affect criminal justice outcomes in each jurisdiction.
At the Robina Institute, we want our work to make a measurable impact on criminal justice outcomes. We work collaboratively with our research partners to identify the steps necessary to implement policy reforms or changes in practice. We support implementation by building consensus around key objectives and identifying barriers to implementation.
Partners & Supporters
“Robina is an authentic, trusted and respected partner that helps Ramsey County advance our strategic priority of More Community, Less Confinement. Robina adds integral value to our work by connecting national criminal justice research, policy and practice trends to our local system – and doing this through an underlying recognition that both community and system stakeholders are vital to improving probation supervision.”
Monica Long, Director, Ramsey County Community Corrections
“A major resource my office turns to for assistance is the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. They are a trusted source for state criminal justice sentencing. A continued relationship with Robina is vital to our success in promoting data-driven, research-based policy for Kansas.”
Scott Schultz, Executive Director, Kansas Sentencing Commission
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice