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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.

Preliminary Thoughts on Reimagining Judging | By Nancy Gertner (December 2021)

January 2022 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Reimagining judging EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FULL REPORT PRESS RELEASE Overview Judges have traditionally been resistant to most types of reform: even when changed laws broadened the scope of judges’ sentencing discretion, many judges have been hesitant to utilize this development. We must find ways to…

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Beyond the Easiest Cases | By Greisa Martínez Rosas and Matt Desmond (December 2021)

December 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy beyond the easiest cases EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FULL REPORT PRESS RELEASE Overview In this paper, the authors examine the power of narratives to impact cultural, political, and policy change, arguing that narratives based on contingent morality – that is, oversimplifying people into “deserving heroes” or…

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What Makes a City Safe: Viable Community Safety Strategies that Do Not Rely on Police or Prison | By Amanda Alexander and Danielle Sered (December 2021)

December 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy What Makes a city safe: viable community safety strategies that do not rely on police or prisons BOSTON REVIEW PUBLICATION FULL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Overview Divesting from law enforcement is not merely compatible with reducing interpersonal violence in communities; it is necessary. To understand…

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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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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.


Join the conversation

It was a powerful conversation and I appreciate having the opportunity to participate. Thank you @CrimeVictimsOrg. ...

ANNOUNCEMENT! 📢 The news is barely off his desk, but it’s official, @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom has signed SB1008 to make calls free ...across all CA prisons, making CA the second state to do so after CT. This bill will save CA families $33 million a year and make CA safer!

@IDOC_Illinois Director of Corrections @JROB2 and Dr. @NnekaTapia engaging and inspiring members on how @HolisticSafety is the vehicle for ...meaningful improvements in #corrections @Chicago_Beyond #harmreduction #humanity Great conference @CLALeadership

The bar for jail officials reading someone's privileged mail to their lawyers is extremely high: You need a warrant. Did DOC staff have ...warrants for all 14 privileged envelopes that lawyers recently received already torn open? They're not saying.

Welcome to #FreedomScholar Family @DavarianBaldwin, @deanspade, @dereckapurnell, @prisonculture, @4noura, @OlufemiOTaiwo, @sahaley, ...@IMIXWHATILIKE, Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Dr. Beth E. Richie! We’re so glad you’re here!

“We need people who are courageous enough to name the systems and the actors responsible for maintaining the level of power imbalance we ...have.”- 2022 #FreedomScholar @dereckapurnell, human rights lawyer, researcher, and scholar in residence at @ColumbiaLaw.

New: CDCR announces plans to close Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in 2025, end a $32 million annual lease with a company that owns the ...California City Correctional Facility in 2024 and deactivate "certain facilities in six prisons."

(added contract price tag to a new tweet)

Really excited to see @RobertRooks5 appointed the @JoshShapiroPA transition team. There’s so much good work to be done in the criminal ...justice space and no one is more qualified to help guide the new administration than Robert.


✅NBL Redwood Defensive Player of the Year
@copeland_coach @CoachWTrenchMob @jeffthomas4 @Coach_CoryWhite @Coach_Govan ...@CoachMattScott @jbraxton8287 @coachcos25 @CoachClarkJ @CoachPPeterson @delanefitz @HaroldAbend @CalHiSports

Remarkable investigative work by #TeamSAO4, @jsopio, @fbijacksonville, the Demopolis Police Department, and Alabama State Bureau of ...Investigation to find the truth. #PursueJusticeAlways #JusticeForTaylor

A picture of my grandfather, Clem.

Tomorrow is the 2022 ALS Jacksonville CEO Soak to raise awareness/funds to fight this disease. He is of the reasons I am taking the plunge.

Thanks to everyone who has joined — there is still room on the team.

Going international with a Canadian guest sharing bites of leadership insights! ⁦@ziman_kristen⁩ ⁦@DCCDavey⁩ ⁦@tedmadden⁩ ...

Acts of violence like Speaker Pelosi and her husband suffered are reprehensible, at their home is level of depravity that should be jarring... to all.

Please know that the prayers and warm wishes from so many are a comfort to our family and are helping Paul make progress with his recovery....

We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services, and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.

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

Next Monday, we're excited to have Fiona Doherty, @DrAyanaJordan, @MorganGodvin, & @VinSchiraldi join us for a discussion on "Drug ...Screening for People on Probation & Parole."

Co-sponsoring w/ @YaleGHJP & @HiJAction.

More info 🔗

Don't Believe the Hype; Bail Reform is Good Policy and Good Politics ⁦@MoonshotNYC⁩ ...

Join @NYCulture at the #StatenIsland Supreme Courthouse this Saturday @ 2pm for a conversation about "Reify," #PAIRnyc artist Melanie ...Crean's new installation!
More info here:

The Office of Neighborhood Safety and @ProgressPB held the inaugural NYC Safe Pitch Competition, hosted by pitching extraordinaire ...@PerfectPitchP with music from @DJBentRocHH of WBLS!

The ONS Youth Leadership Council (YLC) hosted the annual Youth Summit, convening community leaders, residents, and city agencies to discuss... local public safety policies.

Which policy solutions & approaches hold the most promise for reducing racial inequality in crime & justice?

A new report from ...@WesternBruce @KhalilGMuhammad & others helps answer this question and more. RSVP now for a webinar today to learn more:

We are pleased to welcome our new Senior Fellow, Jeremy Travis, to the Justice Lab at Columbia University. Jeremy's new role at the Lab ...will begin in July 2023.

Since the 1980s, imprisonment rates have more than doubled, while most crime rates have fallen. ⁦@Paul_Karp⁩ previews my speech to the ...Australian Institute of Criminology conference #aic2022 #auspol

Through the onset of the pandemic, we saw an increased need for support for our participants. With your donation, we can better ensure that... they can maintain the stability needed to grow and heal in the aftermath of violence. Give now at

What an honor to talk with the brilliant @KhalilGMuhammad and @ben_austen about violence, incarceration, and building a world without ...either.

Join us for a series of Long Island Town Halls in December to discuss parole justice, survivor justice, faith & redemption, and equity.... Learn how to get involved with urgent issues impacting our communities and RSVP here today:

Writing this is risky personally and professionally, but it’s imperative for me to share what I learned about how things really work If Portland’s going to get better, we must grapple with the city’s underlying dysfunction.

Let’s stop tinkering around with systems of oppression. Instead, let’s reckon with harm and commit to change.

Why transform justice in Multnomah County? Because the old answers to criminal behavior, like prosecution and incarceration, will not ...permanently solve the problems of today and tomorrow. We all deserve better. This vision for a just future shows the way.

It's easy to sign up for Public Impact and Snow Alert Texts!
1. Start a new text message and enter "888777" where you normally enter the
...telephone number.
2. Type the keyword you want (RCImpact, PCImpact, RCSnow or PCSnow)

The Felony Alert issued for Courtney Elizabeth Twiss on January 28, 2022, has been canceled. Twiss has been arrested.

We received a letter from a family being evicted about Civil Deputy David VanDenHemel: "David took time to explain the process. My wife ...& I were upset. He asked if he could pray with us & we felt God's peace. I moved out before the actual date & never got a chance to thank him."

Can the states become “laboratories of police accountability”? Kudos to @w_katz1 & @mkrupanski for building this portfolio of ...research & advocacy at @Arnold_Ventures. Who thought bipartisan support for police reform backed by police unions was possible? Tx to @NCSLorg

Bipartisan Police Reform Sweeps All 50 States | Arnold Ventures ...

Great interview w/ Liz Glazer, former advisor to NYC Mayor, on public safety strategies w/ less reliance on the police. Reflecting wisdom ...& insights from years on the front lines. @VitalCityNYC @

NEW: *21%* of Black Tennesseeans can’t vote because of felony convictions.

TN is the state with the highest rates of both Black and ...Latino (8%) disenfranchisement in the country. @propublica

mi gente en PR!! si estás interesade en MD o en MD-PhD, @paula_floresp y yo estaremos en The Place en Condado el 28 de octubre para ...contestar preguntas sobre los programas, oportunidades en Yale y hablar de lo que quieran! regístrense usando el QR code 😊

To pay tribute to all the enslaved people buried in cemeteries with no name, artist Craig Walsh put a face in the trees to honor their ...souls in an installation in Charlotte, North Carolina, called "Monuments" [read more:]

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 6:30PM
FREE Live and Virtual Event

ONLINE: Register to attend on zoom at ...
ATTEND IN-PERSON: Partrich Auditorium at Wayne State Law School - 471 W. Palmer, Detroit 48202

Detroit ShotSpotter expansion violated ordinance, lawsuit claims ...

If you've been eyeing any of our gorgeous posters or postcards to decorate your space or give to friends, make sure you snag them before we... close the shops this month! All proceeds from these go to @watchthecops and @chitorture. Shop: #NoMorePolice

The JC is proud of member Dr. Emily Wang @ewang422 for tackling the health harms of mass incarceration. She is the 3rd JC member to be ...named MacArthur Fellow-- joining @dwaynebetts and @jaricheson! @SEICHE_Yale @_Transitions

A stunning essay about finding beauty in prison by @JCollaboratory member @dwaynebetts

Very interesting. The things the pollsters don't pay attention to. Forget about Kari Lake’s loss. Here’s the biggest sign of ...Arizona’s moderation.

Note to the New Sentencing CommissionStart from Scratch ...

A justice who thinks a policy can go from *constitutional* to *unconstitutional* in 25yrs believes in a living constitution, whether they ...admit it or not.

Kavanaugh asking about precedent is reminding me that I am still capable of laughing out loud

This is what it looks like to #ReimagineJustice in North Carolina - @Forward_Justice and many others showing us how to learn from history ...and build democracy!

Join this amazing group tomorrow for @square1justice's Back to School TwitterSpace - considering justice for young people that happens ...through schools and supports, not through punishment! @DrCRobinson @LCT_NC @AnamikaDwivedi_ #JusticeFirst

Check out the latest episode of CRT2 featuring SQ1 roundtable participants @MzDeHoskins & @Vivian_D_Nixon, where they discuss barriers re-entry for the nearly 2 million individuals leaving women’s prisons and jails every year in the United States. 👇

Bilgi University, Istanbul is maybe one of the coolest campuses I have been on. They turned a factory district into a campus - ripped from ...a Restoration Hardware catalog. AND my meeting with their Faculty of Law regarding our Human Dignity project went great too :-).

First time being “shook down” by authorities in a foreign country and threatened with criminal charges of I didn’t comply. Soooo over... all MIXED feelings about #Slovenia 🇸🇮.

Had great meeting at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia - another country interested in our human dignity in corrections project!

An important piece in the @WSJ by @Abt_Thomas:

Have some exciting news to share. With the strong support of @UofMaryland and @Arnold_Ventures, I am starting a new venture: the Center for... the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction, also known as the Violence Reduction Center or VRC.

"What Can Be Done About Violent Crime?” Join our panel of experts on the live stream on November 10 at 3:30 PM ET at the National Lawyers... Convention.

Watch the live stream: