Each month, the Office of Sponsored Programs will spotlight a different PI and their research. If you are interested in being featured in our next spotlight, please email Please be sure to provide us with an abstract (3-5 paragraphs) about your research, explanation of your recent project, the amount your project (s) were funded for, special events that you are hosting or coordinating, obstacles or challenges you faced during the application process, if applicable, and a photo of yourself.   

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Preeti Chauhan, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
John Jay College of  Criminal Justice

Dr. Preeti Chauhan is the Director of the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Dr. Chauhan has a broad interest in examining the role of macro-level factors including policies and neighborhoods that may create and sustain racial/ethnic disparities in arrests and victimization. Her work at DCJ is aimed at informing criminal justice policy and evaluating several reform initiatives in New York State and City.  DCJ’s most recent report focused on documenting trends in marijuana possession arrests in New York State to inform the ongoing conversations around legalization and regulation of marijuana. The results, particularly around racial differences, were cited extensively in the press and used by the State Senate to inform their passage of legislation decriminalizing marijuana on June 20, 2019.

In 2016, DCJ (then called the “Misdemeanor Justice Project”) launched the Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice (RNMJ) with the goal of creating a network of researcher-practitioner partnerships that use data to inform policy conversations on criminal justice operations at the local level. RNMJ’s partner jurisdictions are New York, New York; Durham, North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Meridian, Mississippi; Prince George’s County, Maryland; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri. Each of these jurisdictions has, or will soon, produce reports examining long-term enforcement trends within their jurisdictions. The reports produced by RNMJ and the associated practitioner partnerships raised a number of questions related to pressing local issues (e.g., jail overcrowding in Louisville, Kentucky, an opioid crisis and other behavioral health issues in Seattle). In order to address these questions, select RNMJ researchers wrote articles for a special issue in Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society released in August 2019. This work, as well as the marijuana report, was supported by Arnold Ventures, in the amount of $3.2 million.

DCJ is also conducting an evaluation of the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA) funded by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) in the amount of $725,051.  CJRA is city-wide legislation which moved the adjudication of some quality of life offenses (e.g., public consumption of alcohol, public urination) from criminal to civil court.  The evaluation found that CJRA resulted in a 93% decline in the number of criminal summonses issued for these offenses in its first six months. Further, the analysis revealed that appearance rates were relatively similar in both court contexts (approximately 50%).  This suggests that removing the possibility of a warrant for a failure to appear in criminal court may not reduce appearance rates. 

Dr. Chauhan received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. Before joining the faculty at John Jay, she completed a predoctoral clinical internship at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center.  She serves on the Board of Directors for New York City Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) and is a Board member for the Evaluation of the LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership.  She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ). She has over 45 peer-reviewed publications and scientific reports and has secured over $5.7 million in external funding.  Dr. Chauhan  has received numerous awards, including the Feliks Gross Endowment Award and the Donal E.J. McNarma Junior Faculty Award and was named a TriBeCa Disruptor Foundation Fellow.