About ACE!

Who We Are

The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) is a dynamic center that aims to bridge disciplines and bring researchers, practitioners, and policymakers together to grapple with issues that affect criminal justice and health systems. As part of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, ACE!’s mission is three-pronged:

  1. To conduct high quality research;
  2. To form lasting partnerships with the community; and
  3. To develop the next generation of researchers.

Our work is collaborative and creative, and we have built a strong network of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students who work with practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and criminal justice-involved individuals to promote evidence-informed approaches.

ACE! interacts and works across disciplines at GMU, as well as other Universities and Research Organizations. At GMU, ACE! works with colleagues in the College of Health and Human Services, Volgenau School of Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Founded in 2010 by Drs. Faye Taxman and Danielle Rudes, ACE!’s goals are:

To advance an understanding of how to improve outcomes from the correctional system and advance scientific knowledge about effective interventions

To improve methodologies for conducting studies in justice settings and translating evidence into practice

To design and conduct original research that addresses correctional policy questions

To contribute to the support and academic development of graduate and undergraduate students at George Mason University as well as early career faculty


We work with federal, state, local, and community-based partners to further the conversation on the state of corrections. Over 200 jurisdictions have used or are currently using our translational tools (SUSTAIN, RNR Simulation Tool). Our research informs evidence-based practices for incarcerated, community corrections, and community-based programs and provides programs a method to self-evaluate their adherence to evidence-based practices. Additionally, our team publishes in numerous academic and practitioner journals, presents at professional conferences nationwide and internationally, and delivers webinars on a variety of topics.