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The Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy

The Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy brings together more than two dozen researchers, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, and community representatives to generate and cultivate new ideas around the work to reimagine justice.  The Executive Session was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

Executive Session Papers

While the Executive Session meetings themselves are off-the-record, Session members publish papers intended to catalyze thinking and policy reform solutions that can reduce incarceration and develop new responses to violence and other social problems that can emerge under conditions of poverty and racial inequality.

Towards A New Framework For Achieving Decarceration: A Review Of The Research Literature On Social Investments | By Laura Hawks, Evangeline (Evie) Lopoo, Lisa Puglisi, and Emily Wang (October 2021)

October 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Towards A New Framework For Achieving Decarceration: A Review Of The Research On Social Investments EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FULL REPORT PRESS RELEASE Overview Recent calls to decarcerate – to reduce reliance on the criminal legal system as a means to surveil and punish – have…

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Protecting and Serving Victims — Their Way, Not Ours | By Melissa Nelson and Kevin Thom (June 2021)

June 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Protecting and Serving Victims – Their Way, Not Ours EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FULL REPORT PRESS RELEASE Overview As a prosecutor and a sheriff, we have seen countless and compelling moments where the best of our work has translated into positive victim support in the aftermath…

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The Power of Parsimony | By Daryl Atkinson and Jeremy Travis (May 2021)

May 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy The Power of Parsimony Full Report Executive Summary Overview As our country comes to terms with the damage caused by our excessive reliance on punishment as a response to crime, the use of the criminal law to sustain racial hierarchies, and the ways the…

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Harm Reduction at the Center of Incarceration | By Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia (April 2021)

Everyone within a correctional facility––both the staff and the people housed there––is exposed to trauma at a significantly higher rate than the general population. In this sense, the institution itself is traumatic. And because of the connective tissue that exists among all of us, the effect of this traumatic system spreads beyond the walls of an institution and into families and communities. Physical and procedural transformation of correctional facilities is imperative to promoting harm reduction at large. The STAAC framework for harm reduction can guide necessary shifts in correctional system policy, procedure, and training to support the health of correctional staff and their families, the people housed in the facility and their families, and the broader community.

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Social Fabric: A New Model for Public Safety and Vital Neighborhoods | By Elizabeth Glazer and Patrick Sharkey (March 2021)

Should the police own safety? For the past forty years, localities across the country have responded with a resounding “yes,” as the primary response to crime has been to call upon the police and criminal justice system. That approach has come with harms, long understood in communities of color and further underscored last summer by the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. These harms undermine the trust that should be the very foundation of any system of justice. This paper argues that there is a different and more durable model, based on the oldest of ideas and eminently doable, especially in this moment of pandemic-straitened budgets: tight-knit communities, where residents are brought together through local institutions and have access to basic civic resources, are the places where safety thrives.

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Learned Helplessness, Criminalization, and Victimization in Vulnerable Youth | By Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Evangeline Lopoo, and Anamika Dwivedi (December 2020)

DECEMBER 2020 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Learned Helplessness, Criminalization, and Victimization in Vulnerable Youth Full Report Executive Summary Overview The United States detains youth in a multitude of settings – the criminal legal system, immigrant detention centers, the foster care system, and more – at rates far higher than global…

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Understanding Health Reform as Justice Reform | By Lynda Zeller and Jackie Prokop (November 2020)

November 2020 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Understanding Health Reform as Justice Reform Full Report Executive Summary Press Release Overview Justice reform strategies to reduce mass incarceration will not be successful without healthcare and social supports for persons with chronic health conditions. This intersection of health and justice holds the potential…

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Can We Eliminate the Youth Prison? (And What Should We Replace It With)? | By Vincent Schiraldi (June 2020)

Since the turn of the 21st century, youth and adult crime rates in the United States have plummeted. While youth incarceration declined in turn, adult incarceration increased. This paper describes the scope and scale of youth decarceral efforts in the last twenty years and the increasing costs of youth incarceration in remote, large facilities. The author offers alternatives to youth institutionalization co-designed by communities, keeping kids close to home and within trusted social and familial networks. The success of the youth decarceral movement, while far from complete, offers lessons learned to adult system reformers.

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The “Radical” Notion of the Presumption of Innocence | By Arthur Rizer and Tracey Meares (May 2020)

The presumption of innocence has been a bulwark of the American justice system since the nation’s founding. Yet, the current scope and scale of pretrial detention prevents us from putting the principle into practice. Shockingly, the vast majority of individuals held in county jails are awaiting adjudication of the charges against them and, therefore, have not been found guilty of a crime meriting punishment. Recognizing this reality, the authors argue that the constitutionally-based presumption of innocence must be supported by a judicial presumption of liberty because the currently-operating justification for holding someone in jail prior to adjudication presumes that person has committed the offense for which they are charged.

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Racial Justice in Criminal Justice Practice | By Abbey Stamp (October 2019)

Criminal justice practitioners tend to see disparities in arrest and incarceration as the product of racial differences in crime. The racial disparity in criminal justice involvement can thus be dismissed as beyond the control of police, courts, and service providers. The experience of the Multnomah County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council suggests concrete strategies for overcoming racial disparities, and points to the pivotal role of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils for building racially-just criminal justice policy.

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Meet Our Executive Session Members

More than two-dozen individuals from a diverse range of professions and roles comprise our Executive Session. By bringing together diverse perspectives, the Executive Session tests and pushes its participants to challenge their own thinking and consider new options.


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Highly recommend listening to this podcast episode by @AspenInstitute I’m excited to incorporate these insights into my research on ... trauma-informed care in youth detention facilities

WEEKEND LISTEN: @NnekaTapia discusses new @square1justice report outlining new ways that prisons & jails can reduce the trauma & ... harm of incarceration--trauma that, unaddressed, will ultimately impact prison/jail staff, families & the broader community

We pretend to care about the disabled/chronically ill until it interferes with our lifestyles. We’ll wear “Fuck Cancer” shirts & ... run a 10k to fundraise, but eliminating Covid so cancer patients can safely leave their homes is simply a bridge too far. We can’t coexist with Covid.

@EpicTomorrows @dylanrodriguez new with @carltonwilliams, @ScottHech, @keribla, @stephensemler, @JoshuaBHoe, @tbh4justice and ... @RegistryReport otw!

Stunningly ignorant quote from the former head of the CDC about how Moderna only sells its government funded, life saving Covid vaccine to ... wealthy countries. What does he think corporations do other than increase wealth for shareholders?

Proud to host criminal justice leaders across Massachusetts for a roundtable discussion on improving public safety and criminal justice ... outcomes through sensible and fair probation and parole reforms that can be implemented nationwide.

@REFORM | @RobertRooks5

Thank you for your words today @harringtonforda and @DARollins! The great state of Massachusetts is fortunate to have you both!

Talking about what MA gets right with probation + parole w/ @REFORM + @RobertRooks5. @CountyBerkshire we rely on programming offered during ... probation and limit incarceration = public safety. Thanks for hosting us @Patriots!

Wonderful event — one of my favorite occasions hosted by #TeamSAO4 each year.

Thank you to all who serve and congratulations to those ... honored today.

The coordination and response from @NCSO_FL and all of our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies has been amazing to witness.

... If you see something, say something.


A horrific murder. The loss of Deputy Josh Moyers is being felt throughout every community in Northeast Florida. I join @NCSO_FL and ... everyone else mourning Deputy Moyers' death and thank him for his sacrifice and service.

If I can’t stop watching this, it means it is LEGIT - Come on, I’m a @RedSox fan- but this is delicious! Mad respect @MLB

Thank you DaBaby for bringing us together. The Court and community must reimaginejustice together.

It’s time for the courts to reckon with the ways we maintain systems of oppression and white supremacy. It’s time to #reimagineJustice ... for our Charlotte community.

The most serious consequence of the rapid militarization of American police forces, however, is the subtle evolution in the mentality of the... "men in blue" from "peace officer" to soldier. @RSI

And Kudos to @GovKathyHochul for signing this. I am overseeing the release of 191 people held on state parole violations who the Gov ordered... released from Rikers this evening into community programs, rather than jail.

@katalcenter @UnchainedNOW @lov_unity @NewYorkLtGov @phara4assembly @VinSchiraldi Special thanks to @BrooklynDA @ManhattanDA @BronxDAClark ... for fighting for this legislation for years, and to @MelindaKatz and @Mimirocah1 for standing up for parole justice. Thank you also to @WalterTMosley for carrying the legislation forcefully for two years.

Issues at Rikers: DOC Commissioner @VinSchiraldi spoke with @DanMannarino about ongoing violence, staffing shortages and more at the ... troubled jail complex

Watch now:

"The way we did it, it came from our hearts."

18-year-old Chico Copeland was just one of the Ingersoll Houses residents who participated in... a new community mural project through programming organized by the Office of Neighborhood Safety.

This #dvam2021 take some time to check out resources available in your community. Like the Office to Prevent Gun Violence, which works to ... reduce gun violence and to support survivors and families affected throughout NYC:

UPDATED: The latest stats around crime, arrests, arraignment, jail, and other key system indicators can be found here: ...

We're excited to announce that JLUSA President & CEO DeAnna Hoskins will join Vivian Nixon, Susan Burton, and Desmond Meade for a #SXSW ... panel on building life after incarceration! See the link below for more details. @ANewWayofLife1 @FLRightsRestore @square1justice

Further context from @WesternBruce and coauthors: “over a quarter of Black men and a sixth of Latino men in the city have been jailed by ... age 38. Risks of jail incarceration are 40 to 50% higher in poor neighborhoods.”

Tuesday: Why is the U.S. rate of incarceration higher than the rates in other democracies, and our prison population disproportionately ... minority? Join us with @WesternBruce and Reginald Dwayne Betts. RSVP for this free event now! #SciEntEvent

For far too long, the atrocities at Rikers island jail have gone unaddressed. We must decarcerate and close it.

After 27 years of tearing us apart, we’re coming together to dream bigger and fight for better; It’s time for a new vision for safety ... and policymaking.

Join us on Oct 20 for #DreamingAndScheming to #RepealAndReplace94CrimeBill

Sign up 👉🏼👉🏽👉🏾👉🏿

"Prisons and policing are obstacles to true safety. The people who most understand this truth are survivors of sexual violence."

Read more ... in our zine/resource "What About The Rapists? An Abolitionist FAQ": #DVAM

Ankle Monitors Tether Wearers to the Carceral System: Study | The Crime Report ...

After piloting an innovative family visitation program and healing-centered practice in Cook County Jail, ES member Dr. @NnekaTapia explores... lessons learned and how we can #ReimagineJustice by reducing harm & center healing in jails and prisons. Read here👉

Thank you for the opportunity to participate and learn. @varohaub, thanks to you, "budget alchemy" as a term and concept has caught fire.

John Brown is the Care Campus Employee of the Month! John always thinks of his co-workers, has a positive attitude & great work ethic, ... and takes the lead on tasks. John has the ability to deescalate situations that sometimes arise. A true asset!

Juvenile Services Center proudly announces Case Manager Becky Elger is October Employee of the Month! Becky continues to go above and ... beyond. She is flexible providing coverage and support as needed. She is a true asset to JSC and a most deserving Employee of the Month!

Warrants issued for Zailynn Amethyst Rose Mcdow for Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree Burglary, Possession Controlled Drug, Impersonation to ... Deceive Law Enforcement, Underage Purchase Alcohol, Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor, Petty Theft... Contact @PennCoSheriff 394-6117

So exciting to launch this new line of work. Public defenders are important & undervalued component of the justice system. Thanks to ... @Caduggy , @rrsilber & @carlken & our partners for their thought leadership.

Good news, a big step toward undoing the damage done over 30 years ago .... so many lives lost ... so much hurt and hard ... now the Senate ... much act. Kudos to all who pushed this reform.

Thanks to @TheCrimeReport & @GregBerman50 for this generous interview. Hoping it will generate lots of discussion about meeting present ... challenges & seizing future opportunities, informed by our past, in the pursuit of justice.

Day four: a reprieve!! Thank you, @pugleesa and kids for another 70 push-ups. My arms have never been 💪and my ❤️is full thinking ... about Zion going to college. More donations ( and push-ups) welcomed:

Day 3: Change of scnenery. 50.5 push-ups DONE (after enlisting my 👩‍👩‍👧‍👦)& calling on @SEICHE_Yale and ppl ... ❤️Jerry to push-up too. Ayúdame!! @pugleesa @BhandaryJames @howell_ben @DrNRedmond @JElumn

Day two: I somehow feel much stronger today. ❤️❤️to all the people who’ve donated. I now owe 128.

Help me spread the word. Detroit Sip -- a Black female-owned coffee shop located on McNichols off of Livernois -- recently reopened after ... being closed for more than a year during the pandemic. #SupportBlackBusiness

This piece was incredibly hard to write- I discuss the struggles as an Indigenous reporter covering Residential Boarding Schools in Michigan... while uncovering my own family trauma.

Revised and expanded 2nd edition will be out in December from @VersoBooks. Let me know if you're interested in a copy for reviews, podcasts,... course adoptions, etc. New sections on violence, academic complicty w police, and abolitionist theory.

Preemptive apology for all the missed deadlines and ignored emails over the next 10 days or so

Top 5 bday cards ever (and ps: it is not my birthday, I am just cleaning up!!)

Buddhist teaching is out the window w this Sox series.
I am attached.

Important issue to hilight. Some kids need fulsome virtual options. “This is not inclusive”: Some students with disabilities are going ... without as districts scale back virtual programs - Chalkbeat

Important new issue of @sciencemagazine with articles by @jcollaboratory members @elizabhinton and ⁦@jaricheson⁩. ...

Special Report: How AT&T helped build far-right One America News ...

Do Supreme Court justices have competing judicial philosophies or are they just partisan hacks? ...

Promoting the idea that Democrats in Congress should forgo voting rights legislation in order to avoid angering the "reasonable Republicans"... who will work on a bipartisan election bill is why so many journalists and academics have lost credibility in the fight for democracy.

Congratulations @Vivian_D_Nixon, Daryl Atkinson, @MarshallProj and all the awardees - great reading/watch/listen list here!

Yes @DeVoneBoggan! We know what works! Blessings on your vision and leadership! ...

“If you can help, help” ...

My heart aches to report my father passed away yesterday.

He was surrounded by family - I was holding his hand.

He was the best and ... smartest man I ever knew. He is gone but his light leaves behind a path we can follow - I know that is true for me and for my two sons.

We are looking for a postdoc for research on the effects of prison conditions on health, and communities. The successful candidate will work... with @jt_simes and myself, analyzing data from the Pennsylvania Solitary Study:

Plesse register to join us for this Zoom event tomorrow at 2pmET! Bring your questions and comments as well. ...

Please register to join this timely discussion!