Records of the Center for Knowledge in Criminal Justice Planning

1975 - 1978

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Center for Knowledge in Criminal Justice Planning owed its existence to a grant from the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. The grant, awarded to the Hudson Institute, was for the purpose of surveying all the relevant research on the impact of programmatic intervention on recidivism. The end product of the project was to be an information base that would help answer the questions of practitioners and criminal justice planners responsible for decisions concerning appropriate and cost-effective programs for offenders. The title of the funded project was Knowledge in Criminal Justice Planning; the locus of activity on the project was the Center for Knowledge in Criminal Justice Planning. The project was an extension of a controversial earlier effort that had reviewed research in this area for the period 1945-67 (see Praeger publication cited below).

The primary researchers associated with the Center and with the parent project were Robert Martinson (director of the center and principal investigator for the project) and Judith Wilks (associate director and technical consultant for the project). Martinson and Wilks had been two of the three co-authors of the Effectiveness of Corrections Treatment: A Survey of Treatment Evaluation Studies (Praeger, 1975), and both had academic experience and criminal justice agency consulting in their backgrounds.

Correspondence and consultation files indicate that the Center always had some small measure of life outside the parameters of the initiating grant; the 1977 partnership records (file #6) testify to an intent to continue the Center after the grant's expiration. Although a promising and widely reviewed Preliminary Report (file #28) was issued on schedule in October 1976, neither the sought-for continuity for the Center nor the completion of the project's final report came about. Administrative difficulties can be implied from materials in the collection. Martinson's death in 1979 and the dispersal of other staff make the possibility of any full reconstruction of the situation unlikely, although Louis Genevie of the CUNY Graduate Center is continuing some aspects of the study.

The collection consists of the records of the Center, of the project, and of those Martinson and Wilks papers that were physically housed in the Center offices. As might be expected, the major portion of the material is project related. The administration of the project and its procedures are well documented: the several thousand documents produced by the systematic search for "all relevant research" are available in their original order with indexes supplying multiple access points: the coding sheets for the analyzed documents fill four file drawers. The tapes produced from the coded information are not part of the collection. Martinson continued working with material after the project's formal demise, and the tapes and supplementary files are currently at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

The agreement with Martinson and the Lloyd Sealy Library provided that the materials that formed the Center's reference library would be integrated into the library's general collection while those materials directly associated with the project would be housed as a separate research collection. This finding-aid refers only to the research collection. Questions relating to the nature of the Center's library can be answered through the carefully kept logs and indexes: the catalog of the Lloyd Sealy Library can be consulted for any particular items. The small collection of Martinson papers (File #68-84) are open to qualified researchers.

The three principal record groups in the collection are as follows:

For access to the collection, contact Prof. Ellen Belcher, Special Collections Librarian via e-mail at or by mail at the Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

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Last updated 7/96.