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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.

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 (October 2021)

October 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 Overview Divesting from law enforcement is not merely compatible with reducing interpersonal violence in communities; it is necessary. To understand why, we must consider…

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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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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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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

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

what an honor to join this yr's group Angélica Cházaro, @CathyJCohen, @Lorgia_Pena, @Orisanmi, & Robin D. G. Kelley! + last years ... @KeeangaYamahtta @meganfrancis @ruha9, @nickwestes @CharleneCac, @ananyaUCLA, @DarrickHamilton, @dylanrodriguez, @BarbaraRansby Ramzi Kassem + more 😭

If I was responsible for putting an innocent man in jail - the LAST place I would run is Medium to put out my own statement. Especially when... I haven't spoken with the man I harmed first.

On this #GivingTuesday, here are three orgs to support in St. Louis: @ArchCityDefense @ActionSTL @FCCStLouis. They are doing incredible ... work to transform the city and make it a better place for poor, Black, and Brown folks. They need your support.

One day you will tell your story about how your overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.

2021 CIF State Football Championship

NorCal: Division 6AA
St. Vincent 🆚 Argonaut
🗓-Dec. 3rd
📍-Argonaut High School
... 🎟-


I love this story of Master Sergeant William Crawford and today is perfect to share it again. God bless our veterans. ...

Congratulations Judge Laura Lothman Lambert! Thank you for all you have done for @SAO4Florida. You have been both an excellent leader and ... lawyer & will be an extraordinary judge. Godspeed, friend.

Proud of the work this office accomplished last year.

Today we honor and express gratitude for those who served in the US Military- like this fine Sailor (here touring the USS Midway where he ... served- in the seat beside his daughter)- thank you!

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

Not popping any champagne corks, but it’s a start.

Partnership CEO Kathy Wylde hails practical solutions that @VinSchiraldi and the @BrooklynDA are advancing to improve conditions in Rikers....

Hear how @APDS_For_Good and @CorrectionNYC are helping w. reentry w. ed tech during her tour of Rikers 🔽

Hat tip to @NYCHealthSystem CHS partners for their work in DOC facilities to protect staff & people in custody from COVID. As of 11.8.21... the citywide % of tests coming back positive was 1.55%. As of 11.8.21, @CorrectionNYC average was 0.00%.

➡️Pretrial assessments aid judges' release decisions, but behavioral barriers can impede their effective use.

💡In NYC, we applied a ... behavioral lens to design a new assessment that supports arraignment decisions & decreases pretrial detention.


Join me at 7pm ET tonight as I discuss "Reimagining: Criminal Justice, Policing, and Security" with incoming Manhattan DA @AlvinBraggNYC, ... senior @ACLU executive @UdiACLU, Renita Francois of @CrimJusticeNYC, and @AnthoninePierre:

Happy Hanukkah, NYC!

Times Square shines even brighter with the glow of a menorah.

Great interview at @jacobin with Chicago political theorist John McCormick who works on “democratic republics in crisis,” ... “investigating democracy’s perpetual susceptibility to plutocratic and oligarchic corruption”

Important discussion of the spatial concentration of incarceration by @jt_simes. High levels of punishment in poor communities of color ... makes incarceration an environmental hazard with a collective effect.

My latest with @hpullenblasnik and @WesternBruce in @ScienceAdvances estimates the population prevalence of solitary confinement. We find ... that 11% of all Black men, born in the late 1980s, experienced solitary confinement by age 32. 1/

HAPPENING FRIDAY: Join us to hear from some of the leading voices in #restorativejustice to explore how these practices can help our ... communities thrive with safety, trust and hope.

On this day in history, the 13th amendment, which banned slavery and involuntary servitude, was ratified.

But did you know slavery is ... still legal according to the U.S. Constitution?

You can help us make a difference in the lives of Black and Brown survivors. Join us to help move resources that support survivors of ... violence in our program who have been materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

86 minutes well worth the listen. @patrick_sharkey lays out WHAT to do to increase safety, and I hope our local Transforming Justice project... will inspire HOW to get it done.

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👉

Most violence in Pennington County has a nexus with illegal drugs. Please call to report suspected drug activity at (605) 394-2151. The Care... Campus offers residential and out-patient addiction services. Call (605) 394-6128.

Pennington County Sheriff's Office Deputy Abe Wheeler can't imagine life without a badge, as he transitions from the military into the ... civilian world. @newscenter1

1999 Harley Davidson with 100,351 miles will be sold at a Sheriff's auction on Monday, December 6 at 10am, 840 Centre Street, Rapid City ... (old Ziggy's Building). Please share with interested buyers.

Getting back to the work I was born to do. Today I will be joining the @BrennanCenter for a symposium @TheGreeneSpace on Punitive Excess ... based on this important series led by @JTravis48 and @WesternBruce:

Good article on community-based violence prevention. Includes comments from our very own @SheylaNYC -- e.g.
"Over time, attitudes did ... change, especially in the Cure Violence neighborhoods,” said Sheyla Delgado, a researcher at John Jay who has coauthored several CMS studies."

via @NYTOpinion A powerful article calling for shortening sentences for ppl now incarcerated - citing “parsimony” as a way to reverse ... the era punitive excess. ⁦@Forward_Justice⁩ ⁦@square1justice⁩ ⁦@WesternBruce⁩ ⁦@lbeisen⁩

So excited to kick off our fall seminar series!!

Ahhhh!! I love the title “sister of @karenwang_1” this marks the growth of one TCN program to a network of programs! ❤️I luv the ... idea of archiving the past 15 years…

More convinced than ever that we need to build a world like the one that @A_S_Alexander and @daniellesered describe in this essay -- one ... that promotes healing, restoration, and investment in community, not punitive/carceral responses to violence.

what an honor to join this yr's group Angélica Cházaro, @CathyJCohen, @Lorgia_Pena, @Orisanmi, & Robin D. G. Kelley! + last years ... @KeeangaYamahtta @meganfrancis @ruha9, @nickwestes @CharleneCac, @ananyaUCLA, @DarrickHamilton, @dylanrodriguez, @BarbaraRansby Ramzi Kassem + more 😭

I'm stunned by this: Homicide is by far the leading cause of maternal mortality during and after pregnancy.

(Stumbled on this via ... @teamtrace)

The shock over the latest mass shooting in Michigan will last only a couple days. Pass legislation immediately.


My latest with @hpullenblasnik and @WesternBruce in @ScienceAdvances estimates the population prevalence of solitary confinement. We find ... that 11% of all Black men, born in the late 1980s, experienced solitary confinement by age 32. 1/

In @verainstitute's report, "An Unjust Burden," @leshhenderson, Cindy Reed, and our very own @elizabhinton show how the criminal legal ... system's disparate treatment of Black Americans stems from a long history of institutional racism:

So very brave. So very strong. My admiration for you has long known no bounds and with this you extended them even further. Thank you my ... friend. I Was Raped by My Father. An Abortion Saved My Life.

That I'm finding this appealing right now says something about my workplace and the world. He spent almost 50 years alone at 10,000 feet. ... His hobby helped shape climate research in the Rockies. - The Washington Post

The stench at the Supreme Court

Norway spends about $30,000 per child on early childhood care. Finland spends $23,000. Germany, $18,000.

The U.S. spends $500 per child.

... In other words, 1/60th of what Norway spends on its toddlers.

How do we expect to build a better future if we refuse to invest in our kids?

Since Merrick Garland "is unwilling to step up," and prosecute Donald Trump and his cronies, Free Speech for People says "it is time for him... to step down." via @commondreams

So well done. Crucial addition needed: Olive the Other Reindeer.


Communicating with loved ones is a lifeline for incarcerated people, especially during the holidays, and is out of reach for too ... many. This #JusticeFirst, we’re highlighting the high #CostOfConnecting and efforts to make it easier.

Beautiful - thanks to @builtfoesuccess and co-authors for this important piece! ...

People doing the killing in Philadelphia are carrying illegal guns. People carrying and selling illegal guns need to be arrested & ... prosecuted successfully. Period.

So happy - my son became a man (turned 18) and we get to watch the Seahawks in Washington DC! @AsherRizer @JessiRizer @GabrielRizer

My latest article in @DailySignal on whether DOJ is targeting parents. @EdMeeseIII @FedSoc @tolmanbrett @DougDeason @arthurrizer ... @BradenBoucek @GCanaparo @SarahPPerry @vpreddy @DSafavianEsq

Great article by ⁦@MarcALevin⁩

Tap talents of ex-offenders to solidify supply chain | TheHill ...

Judge Bill Pryor's Story Lecture at @Heritage is a terrific explanation of how legal process protects natural rights in America's ... Constitutional system. I recommend it highly: cc: @Malcolm_John, @CaseyMattox_, @MarcALevin, @JoshMBlackman, @AllenMendenhall

Looking forward to talking about my new plea bargaining book tomorrow afternoon with @WilsonCSJ_ at Duke. The event is online, and the link... to register can be found here: