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The Brennan Center for Justice focuses on democracy, criminal justice, securing the balance of power, and protecting fundamental freedoms while keeping Americans safe.


We work to ensure that all Amer­ic­ans have an equal voice in our elec­tions and that our govern­ment advances the public interest and upholds the rule of law. We lead national efforts to ensure that citizens — not special interests or partisan oper­at­ives — are at the center of our polit­ics. The center’s Demo­cracy Program work brings national perspect­ive and expert­ise in the fight to protect and promote voting rights, campaign finance reform, redis­trict­ing integ­rity, fair courts, and a First Amend­ment juris­pru­dence that puts the rights of citizens — not special interests — at the center of our demo­cracy.

Collab­or­at­ing with grass­roots groups, advocacy organ­iz­a­tions, and reform-minded govern­ment offi­cials, we contrib­ute cutting-edge legal strategy, innov­at­ive policy devel­op­ment, empir­ical research for legal and policy efforts, and high-impact commu­nic­a­tions to advance our goals.

Our Demo­cracy teams


We work to end mass incar­cer­a­tion and other crim­inal justice policies that target communit­ies of color, and to create a rational and effect­ive justice system.

The Justice Program advances data-driven, innov­at­ive, prac­tical legal reforms; seeks new empir­ical analyses; crafts innov­at­ive policy solu­tions; and advances legis­la­tion and litig­a­tion in its efforts to end mass incar­cer­a­tion. Our view: We can end mass incar­cer­a­tion when the broad public under­stands that mass incar­cer­a­tion exists. That it has crush­ing consequences: social, racial, economic. That we can end it without jeop­ard­iz­ing public safety. And that there are reforms that will work. We focus, espe­cially, on expos­ing the way perverse incent­ives distort our justice system. And we enlist the unique voice of law enforce­ment as an ally for change.

Our Justice team

Liberty & National Secur­ity

The Bren­nan Center seeks effect­ive national secur­ity policies that respect consti­tu­tional values and the rule of law while protect­ing our people. The Liberty & National Secur­ity Program focuses on rein­ing in the abuse of emer­gency powers by the exec­ut­ive branch and prevent­ing excess­ive govern­ment secrecy. We work to protect funda­mental freedoms while keep­ing Amer­ic­ans safe. That means protect­ing citizens’ privacy, updat­ing privacy laws to account for new tech­no­lo­gies, work­ing to ensure that coun­terter­ror­ism author­it­ies are narrowly targeted to the terror­ist threat, and secur­ing adequate over­sight and account­ab­il­ity mech­an­isms. 

Our Liberty & National Secur­ity team


The Bren­nan Center’s Fellows Program brings together seasoned experts and thought lead­ers from the ranks of govern­ment, academia, journ­al­ism, law enforce­ment, and the legal profes­sion. They contrib­ute bold ideas to the Bren­nan Center through writ­ing, public speak­ing, host­ing academic sympo­sia, and devel­op­ing collab­or­at­ive projects with staff. 

Our Fellows

Stra­tegic Advocacy

The Bren­nan Center’s Wash­ing­ton, D.C., office and Commu­nic­a­tions depart­ments work to advance the organ­iz­a­tion’s work in the halls of power and the court of public opin­ion.

Our Wash­ing­ton, D.C., office

Our Commu­nic­a­tions team