The United States represents 4% of the world’s population and yet it is home to 22% of the world’s prisoners. It is estimated that the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States costs the country approximately $74 billion. Such staggering and disproportionate figures that show no signs of abating necessitate response. As a nation that prides itself on freedom and equality, the mass incarceration issue in the United States is inconsistent with its espoused values. ting CJR we hoped to provide a space for students to learn about and discuss the issue of mass incarceration in this country through bringing speakers to campus and coordinating off-site visits to organizations that work in this field. We seek to evaluate the root causes of mass incarceration, understand impacted communities, discuss and propose effective policy solutions, and educate ourselves and our community. CJR is a platform through which Columbia students and the greater New York City community can engage in criminal justice issues, facilitating interdisciplinary dialogue, raising awareness and assessing potential solutions. While CJR’s focus is on addressing the causes of this epidemic in the US, we will look at examples of more just and effective criminal justice systems in other countries to propose realistic solutions in the US.