Informed Justice is a blog and social media platform that aims to bridge the gap between research, public policy, and the general public. Scholars from various fields contribute short summaries of peer-reviewed articles, research reports, law reviews, and landmark legislation on crime and criminal justice that are easy to understand and accessible to a wide audience.
Alexis Yohros, a doctoral student in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, created the platform in the fall of 2020. Most non-academics find it difficult to scour through hundreds of scholarly articles that may be inaccessible, time-consuming, and filled with academic jargon. “The hope is that this account can serve as an unbiased, trustworthy, and reliable place for up-to-date studies on crime and criminal justice,” according to Alexis. “For us scholars, this helps us step out of the ivory tower, keep us accountable, and make research more accessible to the public.”
Informed Justice lets the data speak for itself. It does not serve an advocacy function nor is partisan in any way. Rather, it presents summaries of unbiased and vetted studies from experts in the field.
The platform has a diverse network of contributors. There is quite a range in the types of professions represented (e.g., from doctoral students to lawyers to professors) and the criminal justice topics at hand (e.g., from mass shootings to juvenile justice to racial disparities in housing).
Alexis explained, “I hope to show how Informed Justice can be a useful tool for all intended audiences of the blog—for the general public to understand the significance of peer-reviewed and vetted research, for policymakers to have a place to stay up to date with the latest research in a way that’s accessible to them, and for scholars and academics to continue to find ways to ensure knowledge doesn’t stay in the ivory tower.” Down the line, she hopes Informed Justice can grow to receive funding, which would ensure sustainability and allow for an expansion of the team. Blogs with a similar format exist in the field of physical sciences, which makes Alexis hopeful for this project’s success.