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.
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.
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.
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.
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.