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A NEW NAME AND A NEW HORIZON: THE WILSON CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND JUSTICE

In recognition of a $5 million dollar grant from the Wilson Foundation, CSAFE partner institution Duke University renamed its Center for Science and Justice the Wilson Center for Science and Justice. Funds from the grant will expand the center’s work in three key areas: accuracy of evidence in criminal cases, the role of equity in criminal outcomes, and the mental and behavioral health treatment needs of people in the justice system. 

CSAFE’s own Co-Director, Brandon Garrett, the L. Neil Williams Jr. Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the center, aims for Duke Law School to build a long-term presence as a national leader in reforming the US criminal justice system. The Center, originally launched in September 2019, plans to encourage and instruct students and faculty on how to bolster legal and scientific data-driven research.  

“Bringing law and science together to prevent injustice has been my life’s work, since I was a young lawyer, and now, in my work with the new Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke,” said Professor Garrett. 

The Wilson Center champions the integration of students, faculty, and staff across multiple disciplines, gathering their expertise in law, public policy, medicine, the arts, and sciences, to create a unique lens for criminal justice research. The philosophy of interdisciplinary collaboration driving impactful research, policy, and teaching is what forms the foundation of our educational initiatives at CSAFE.

Strengthening research in the prevention of wrongful convictions, the examination of how jurors evaluate forensic evidence, and the accuracy of evidence in court are primary objectives of the Wilson Center — all of which cannot be achieved without the practice of scientifically valid methods. At its core, CSAFE is committed to the application of verified statistical and scientific techniques to ensure the accuracy of forensic analysis and interpretation and to uphold the fair administration of justice.

With more than just a strong alignment of legal and scientific ideology, CSAFE’s partnership with the Wilson Center for Science and Justice will strengthen the field of forensic science and remedy structural inequalities ingrained in the justice system.

Click here to learn more about CSAFE’s commitment to statistical and scientific data-driven research. 

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