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Research Partner: California Committee on Revision of the Penal Code

There is a map on the left side of the image. On the right side is a gavel in a circle, the scales of justice in a circle, and a magnifying glass in a circle. The three circles are interlocking.

In 2020, California created the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code (CRPC) to reduce overcrowding in prisons and simplify and improve California’s penal code. CPL is serving as the research partner to the CRPC.


California’s Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, in partnership with a team from the researchers at CPL, aims to make evidence-based recommendations for statutory reforms. This includes recommendations to simplify and rationalize the substance of criminal law and criminal procedures, establish alternatives to incarceration, and improve the state’s probation and parole systems. The research partnership is supported with funding from the California Law Revision Commission. Arnold Ventures provided the first two years of funding.

Research Project

Status: ongoing

Through this partnership, CPL will design studies to answer key Committee questions, synthesize existing policy-relevant research findings, evaluate current sentencing laws in California, and provide insights on recent criminal legal policy changes surrounding sentencing, bail, parole eligibility, among many other topics. Composed of three Principal Investigators, and research staff with in-depth backgrounds in criminal legal work, CPL brings a unique level of expertise to these topics. Through this project, CPL will publish periodic reports, as well as present to the Committee. CPL will also work with the Committee to provide technical assistance on the underlying data received from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Department of Justice, as well as providing broad stroke insights into this data that has never been analyzed before in this way. 

Research Team

Professor Dr. Steven Raphael (Co-Principal Investigator), Assistant Professor Dr. Mia Bird (Co-Principal Investigator), Dr. Johanna Lacoe (Co-Principal Investigator), Alissa Skog, Molly Pickard, Nefara Riesch, Thomas Sloan.

CPL Publications

Series of Fact Sheets (ongoing)

Consecutive Sentencing in California (February 2024)

Sentence Enhancements in California (March 2023)

Three Strikes in California (August 2022)
See also: Executive Summary of this report, and An Overview of Sentencing in California

Crime in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Sept 2021)
See also: Steven Raphael Testimony about the research

CRPC Publications

2023 Annual Report and Recommendations
2022 Annual Report and Recommendations
2021 Annual Report and Recommendations
Death Penalty Report (Nov 2021)
2020 Annual Report and Recommendations

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