District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute

About DCPI

The District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute (DCPI) is a nonpartisan, public policy research organization focused on crime and justice policy in Washington, D.C. DCPI connects a diverse team of prominent scholars and policy experts. With funding from the Justice Grants Administration (JGA) in the Executive Office of the District of Columbia Mayor (EOM), DCPI was established at the Urban Institute in 2009.

Administered by the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, DCPI’s mission involves three tasks: develop and implement a mathematical model to predict the costs and benefits of new justice policies and programs proposed for the District of Columbia; create a publicly accessible research library of crime and justice research in the District of Columbia; and identify and implement research projects of interest to the District of Columbia’s JGA and EOM.

For additional information on DCPI’s mission, please see its strategic plan.

John Roman, Ph.D. As executive director of DCPI, Dr. Roman manages DCPI’s operations, provides oversight of all research, and leads the development and implementation of the cost-benefit model. Dr. Roman, a senior research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, focuses his research on evaluations of innovative crime control policies and justice programs. He is directing several studies funded by the National Institute of Justice, including a cost-effectiveness study of the use of DNA in burglary investigations, a national study of the demand for community-based interventions with drug-involved arrestees, an evaluation of post-conviction DNA evidence testing to estimate rates of wrongful conviction, and a study developing a blueprint for the use of forensic evidence by law enforcement. Dr. Roman is the coeditor of Juvenile Drug Courts and Teen Substance Abuse and the author of numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. Roman also serves as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliated professor at Georgetown University.

Akiva Liberman, Ph.D. As associate director of DCPI, Dr. Liberman provides oversight of research activities and helps direct research concerning youth crime. Dr. Liberman is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, where his research focus concerns juvenile justice and juvenile delinquency. His edited book The Long View of Crime: A Synthesis of Longitudinal Research was published by Springer in 2008. Before joining the Urban Institute in June 2010, Dr. Liberman managed a program of funded research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse concerning the delivery of evidence-based services to drug-abusing offenders, and a program of research at the National Institute of Justice concerning juvenile justice and juvenile delinquency. He has conducted research at Columbia University, the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, and the University of Arizona.

Jocelyn Fontaine, Ph.D. As deputy director of DCPI, Dr. Fontaine leads the outreach efforts to engage District of Columbia criminal and juvenile justice stakeholders, facilitating a forum for DCPI to discuss pressing District issues to inform future, original research projects. Dr. Fontaine is also a research associate in the Justice Policy Center. During her tenure at the Urban Institute, Dr. Fontaine has managed research and evaluation projects on prisoner and jail reentry, strategic jail population management, and school violence by working with a diverse set of governmental and nongovernmental agencies, including several District of Columbia agencies. She recently directed a project at the Thurgood Marshall Academy, a public charter high school located in Southeast Washington D.C., and co-directs the Safer Return project in Chicago. 

Lindsey Cramer. As policy area manager of DCPI, Ms. Cramer coordinates day-to-day project activities, including distributing and coordinating tasks to be completed by project staff and overseeing each project’s financial and programmatic status and reporting requirements. Ms. Cramer is also assisting with the evaluation of the pilot truancy intervention implemented by Washington, D.C. Public Schools at two local high schools to provide case management services to 9th grade students who are chronically truant.  As a research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, Ms. Cramer leads the coordination and reporting of technical assistance providers working with local jurisdictions implementing a justice reinvestment model to reduce the costs of correction services and reinvest the savings in initiatives to improve public safety. Ms. Cramer is also supporting the national evaluation of responsible fatherhood grantees serving the incarcerated population to ensure they have a stable transition into the community.

Alice Rivlin, Ph.D. Co-chair of DCPI's Research Advisory Group. Dr. Rivlin is a visiting professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University and a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings. Before returning to Brookings, Ms. Rivlin served as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board (1996-99). She was director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in the first Clinton Administration. She also chaired the District of Columbia Financial Management Assistance Authority.

Margery Austin Turner, M.U.R.P.   Co-chair of DCPI's Research Advisory Group. Ms. Turner is the Vice President for Research at the Urban Institute where she develops and nurtures integrative research that draws from the Institute’s 10 research centers and other organizations and helps obtain funding for new projects. She had directed the Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center for over a decade, leading its work on housing markets and policies, urban revitalization, indicators of neighborhood well-being, and performance management. She was also the former deputy assistant secretary to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she focused HUD’s research agenda on the problems of racial discrimination, concentrated poverty, and economic opportunity in metropolitan areas.

Research Advisory Group